SANTA MONICA, Calif. — July 29, 2013 — For some parents, just leaving the kids with a babysitter or nanny can be a nerve-racking experience. But it can be several times more distressing when the babysitter is also responsible for chauffeuring the kids around town. Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information, suggests several steps parents can take to ensure their children's safety while they're in the care — and cars — of others.
"First and foremost, parents should check to make sure the caretaker has a valid driver's license and a solid driving record," says Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Carroll Lachnit. "Be on the lookout for reckless driving citations, cell phone tickets, excessive speeding and, of course, driving while intoxicated. And don't discount even smaller traffic violations. No red flag is too small when the safety of your children is at stake."
More top tips that every parent should follow include:
- Check the babysitter's references. There's a peace of mind that comes with knowing other parents in your community have relied on the babysitter to drive their children around.
- Decide what car the babysitter will drive. It's ideal to lend your own vehicle so you'll be able to make sure that it is in good condition and has all of the features needed to keep your little ones safe. If that's not an option, have a trusted mechanic check out the nanny's car.
- Install Child Safety Seats. The car that your sitter will use should have appropriate child safety seats that are properly installed for each child who needs them.
- Sign up the sitter for a defensive driving class. Some nanny agencies require this already. But if you're not going through an agency, or your sitter hasn't taken a class, your insurance agent can help you track one down or you can find a class through your local DMV.
- Use technology to keep tabs. Parents can install diagnostics trackers that monitor the car's speed, location and performance. Apps and other technology can also be installed to restrict the driver's smartphone usage while the car is in use.
More tips to reinforce a parent's peace of mind when the babysitter's behind the wheel can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/tips-for-letting-your-babysitter-drive.html.
Edmunds.com has several resources for safer driving w/ the children, from the latest technology in child car seats, to survival strategies for summer roadtrips. Learn more at http://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our five-star Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.