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Study: Kids safer when grandparents are behind the wheel

Posted On Mon, July 18, 2011

A new study appears to indicate young children are safer in the car when their grandparents are behind the wheel as opposed to their mom and dad.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the researchers came to their conclusions after reviewing traffic accident data between 2003 and 2007 in which children under the age of 15 were involved. Their analysis determined that children's risk of injury was cut in half when grandparents were behind the wheel rather than the mother or father.

The findings were unexpected for the study's lead author, Fred Henretig, an emergency medicine specialist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"We were surprised to discover that the injury rate was considerably lower in crashes where grandparents were the drivers," said Henretig in an interview with The Associated Press. "I found myself being very nervous on the occasions that we drove our granddaughter around and really wondered if anyone had ever looked at this before."

The researchers were quick to point out that several factors were not taken into consideration when assessing the risk of injury among children, such as the length of car rides. Mileage is something taken into account when insurers determine insurance rates, but several other factors are considered as well.

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