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Riding with grandma and grandpa may be safer for the kids

Statistically, older drivers have a greater chance of getting into a car accident than younger drivers, and a recent study wanted to test that theory when it came to grandparents taking their grandchildren out for a ride. The authors of the study believed that child passengers would experience more injuries from car accidents with their grandparents than their parents; however, the results of the study did not match the authors’ expectations. Unsurprisingly, it seems grandparents are extremely careful when their grandkids are in the car.

According to the new study, grandparents are half as likely to cause injury to children during a car accident as parents. The researchers who conducted the study looked at five years of car accident data between the years 2003 and 2007. Within those years almost 218,000 children were injured in car accidents. Grandparents drove in 10 percent of those car accidents yet were only responsible for seven percent of total injuries to children under age 16. The researchers concluded that grandparents drive with extreme caution when their grandchildren are their passengers.

The researchers took into account the different amount of car accidents grandparents and parents were in and they also factored in things like use of seat restraints. Despite the factors the injury rate among car accidents involving grandparents was statistically less than parents.

Though age can increase the risk of car accidents, older drivers do not take the same risks when driving that younger drivers do. Older drivers make less risky lane changes and do not speed as often, and older drivers are not as likely to go on long road trips as young drivers. Perhaps, parents may have to endure one more lecture about safety from their parents.

Source: healthland.time.com, “Kids are safer in the car with their grandparents behind the wheel,” Alice Park, 7/18/11

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