grandparents

Really? Kids are safer behind the wheel when grandparents drive?

July 18, 2011 at 8:53 AM ET

Grandparents behind the wheel with the little ones in tow?

There’s mixed views on the subject, according to a totally unscientific survey of parenting message boards on the web.

Some parents completely trust Grams and Gramps with driving duties.

In the same way I would never drive irresponsibly with my kids in the car... I know both sets of grandparents would never make ill choices to put their grandkids in harm’s way. –CSPlatt

As long as your parents/in-laws aren't reckless, I see no harm in it.  They're probably in much better hands than they will be once they hit the school bus!  --jmgoss

Other parents fret about everything from grandparents’ lack of driving skills to whether car seats are used properly to other road-related distractions.

My dad is a terrible driver and I don't want to ride with him let alone have him drive my child. – jmbest717

I don't particularly trust my ILs driving around with my children. They are safe drivers but they cannot install a car seat or tighten the straps at all! –lovenerverfails422

But for all those folks who think the grands aren’t fit for ferrying, a surprising new study says otherwise. It turns out that kids are more safe in a car driven by grandparents than in one driven by mom and dad.

Related: Grandparents behind the wheel keep kids safer, study shows

Lead study researcher Dr. Fred M. Henretig (who is also a two-time grandfather) went into the study thinking he would find that grandparents may be putting their grandkids at higher risk in crashes, due to factors such as older cars and a general decline in driving ability.

What he found: Kids involved in car crashes with grandparent drivers had half the risk of being injured. Why? Could be because they are overprotective and have age and experience that makes them aware of potential dangers and therefore more cautious.

Henretig’s response to the findings: “Isn’t this interesting? Maybe we’re not so bad after all.”

What's your opinion? Do you think it’s safe to let the grandparents drive your kids?

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