Here’s an interesting article from the Los Angeles Times. In spite of what you might think about the way old people drive when they’re in front of you, apparently it’s safer to let them drive your kids around than it is to entrust them to your spouse (or yourself for that matter). Here’s the catch though, Grandparents are more likely to get in an accident than you or your spouse.
According to the study conducted by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania, “regarding crashes that occurred from Jan. 15, 2003, to Nov. 30, 2007, involving 217,976 children 15 or younger. Injuries were reported for 1,302 kids. Among those kids, 161 were driving with grandparents, resulting in an injury rate for grandparent drivers of 0.7%; while 2,293 were in the car with parent drivers, resulting in an injury rate for parents of 1.05%. “
Compounding the surprise of this finding is the fact that grandparents are more likely than parents to incorrectly use restraints.
So, let’s recap. Grandparents aren’t strapping kids in correctly and they’re getting in more accidents than parents are but still injury rates for kids is lower.
The conclusion reached by researchers is that grandparents might drive differently (read “more cautiously”) when they have the grandkids in the back. In other words, they may be having more accidents but not when they’ve got the kids in the back.
I’m feeling better and better about being a grandpa all the time!