Study says riding with grandparents is safest for kids - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Who is the safest driver in your family?

If you have kids, you may be worried about letting their grandparents take them out for a drive. Yet the results of a new study may make it easier to hand off the kids AND the keys to Ma and Pa.

More and more grandparents are being called upon to baby sit and drive their grandkids from one place to another.Typically, grandparents are in an older age group that has a higher risk of severe crashes. 

But a new study finds that children are actually safer with grandma or grandpa behind the wheel -- even regardless of whether or not they are buckled in properly. 

Dr. Deb Lonzer of the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital says: "The thought is grandparents probably drive more carefully -- they realize they have precious cargo in the car. They don't go as far, they don't go as fast, they're not texting, they're not talking on cell phones...they're trying to pay attention and get the kids where they need to go."

Researchers say children in grandparent-driven crashes had half the risk of injuries as those in parent-driven crashes. The numbers may decrease even more if grandparents follow current guidelines like using booster seats and having kids younger than 13 ride in the back seat.

Dr. Lonzer says the findings should be a lesson to parents.

"If there's somebody else in the car with you and they're in the back seat, you can't forget they're there and pick up the cell phone and start talking to people texting, because now there's an increased risk to someone other than yourself," she concludes.

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