Family | Did You Know

The Real Reason Why People Have "Baby On Board" Signs On Their Cars

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On any given day, we come across dozens of different types of stickers and window decals adorning car windows, bumpers and license plates.

This is mainly because people love personalizing their vehicles with stickers that reflect who they are, their beliefs or the milestones they've achieved.

In fact, these personalized stickers have become so common that police had to remind people that they could be putting them in harm's way. Some of them can give up so much information about your identity, including your occupation, your hobbies, and even children's names, making you a target for criminals.

However, there are certain stickers, like the "Baby On Board" signs, that not only protect you and your family from potential danger, they could save a life.

The black and yellow signs were first available for purchase in 1985, after a man named Michael Lerner was approached by a friend, who wanted a way to make the sign accessible to all motorists with kids.

"People were tailgating me and cutting me off," he told the Wall Street Journal, referring to his experience while driving with his then 18-month-old nephew. "For the first time, I felt like a parent feels when they have a kid in the car."

Lerner invested his money into his friend's idea and started the company Safety 1st, which has since been bought by the Canadian company Dorel Industries.

Over the last 30 years, more than 30 million signs have been sold, according to USA Today.

While the sign was intended to protect a child while their parent is driving, nowadays people use it to serve a different purpose.

In the event of an accident, having a "Baby On Board" sign can save a child's life. It's useful in altering emergency workers that a young child, who may not be able to respond or get themselves out of the car, is trapped inside.

However, experts, like Julie Townsend, the deputy chief executive of the UK road safety charity Brake, are urging parents to be cautious when placing the signs on their vehicle's window.

While helpful in some situations, the signs have been known to be the cause of one in 20 accidents because they can obscure a driver's view.

“[The sign’s] help can become a hindrance if drivers display signs when their child isn't in the vehicle,” she said. “Worse still is the danger that can be posed by drivers obscuring their view by cluttering up windows with lots of signs. Drivers’ priority should always be getting there safely without putting themselves, young passengers or other road users at risk.”

A survey of 2,000 drivers found that 46% of parent still display the sticker even if there is no child in the car, something that authorities have advised against.

Sure, it can be a hassle to remove the sticker every time your child is out of the car, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

[H/T: Telegraph UK]

Do you or anyone you know have a "Baby On Board" sign on your car? Let us know!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.