Drivers in Alaska often choose SUVs as their primary vehicle because they believe these vehicles are safer. Safety is especially important for drivers who have young children. But most crash tests do not take the third row of an SUV into account, so SUV drivers should consider taking steps to increase child safety.
Consider placing the child in the middle seat
Not all middle seats provide a safe spot to sit in, but if yours does, it may be the safest spot in the vehicle in case of a motor vehicle accident. Make certain that the middle section of the third row has both a headrest and a proper three-point seatbelt. This seat position provides additional safety to children because it cushions them from side impact crashes.
Understand that larger SUVs typically provide greater protection
Traditionally, third row seating was only offered in larger SUVs. But market trends in SUVs resulted in smaller SUVs offering third rows for passengers. This trend can reduce the safety of putting your child in the third row, because smaller vehicles offer less cushion space in cases of a severe rear-end crash.
Choose vehicles equipped with airbags
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration airbags saved more than 50,000 lives in the period between 1987 and 2017. When purchasing your SUV, you can greatly increase the safety of the back row by making sure that it includes side-curtain airbags. These airbags should go all the way to the back rear seat in order to provide the greatest level of safety.
Understand that an accident is likely to happen
Throughout the U.S., people have a one in 63 chance of getting into a motor vehicle accident. Increasing your safety measures when driving with your children in the third row may reduce the severity of harm that comes to them in the event that the worst-case scenario happens.