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Are Grandparents Safer Drivers?

Editor’s Note:  We know that grandparents treat their grandchildren as precious cargo when they drive them anywhere but are grandparents safer drivers? Check out this article from Parade Magazine and see that grandkids are 50% less likely to be injured when the grandparents are driving.

By Miriam Weinstein https://www.parade.com/64248/miriamweinstein/are-grandparents-better-drivers/

grandparents-driving-car-ftrEven though our driving records don’t typically improve as we cruise through our twilight years, a study published in the journal Pediatrics has shown that kids are 50 percent less likely to be injured in an accident with a grandparent driver than in one where Mom or Dad is at the wheel.

While the adults have a similar accident rate, accidents involving senior-age drivers resulted in less serious injuries. What’s striking is that this is the case even though grandparents are slightly less likely to use proper child restraint procedures, meaning they’re more likely to let kids sit in the front seat, on a grown up’s lap, or in an outdated car seat.

The study notes: “These results suggest that there are some unaccounted-for protective grandparent driving style characteristics.” Even though older drivers “suffer from perceptual deficiencies and problems judging and responding to traffic flow,” they are more “risk averse,” and might be “more nervous about the task of driving with the ‘precious cargo’ of their grandchildren.”

Grandparents are also less likely to be making long highway trips with the kids, which is where more accidents happen. Oh, and have we mentioned texting while driving? Guess which generation is less likely to do that?

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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