Blue Flower

Inexperienced mom drivers could find themselves in trouble without these questions. A great driving school should tell moms the importance of these questions when their kids are still young. A good driving school in Jamaica NY is Access 2 Drive.

So, when can you leave your kid in a car without risking a visit from the police? When is it safe for your child to be alone in a car without you?

Believe it or not, there is no one, specific age.

Laws in 19 states make it illegal for children to be left unattended in a vehicle, but the laws vary wildly. In California, for example, a child 6 or younger must be under the supervision of someone 12 or older if they're in a motor vehicle. There's nothing on the books about, say, an 8-year-old or a 9-year-old.

Move to Connecticut, however, and what might be considered safe in Los Angeles or San Francisco could land you in jail.

If your child is in a car seat, they shouldn't be alone. Children in car seats are not ready to help themselves and should never be left alone in a car -- not even for one minute. As we’ve seen too often, it’s easy to be distracted even when paying for gas or entering the dry cleaners.

Would my older children recognize that they were sick and overheated and know what to do? If your children would do something like lay on a floor, cry, or wait for help, then they’re not ready to be left alone without an adult in a car. Or if your children don’t know how to get out of a car on their own -- many children who climb into an unlocked car do not know to climb into the front seat and open the doors without child locks on them -- then, again, they are not ready to be left alone.

If my children did get out of the car, would they know how to safely find an adult to get help? It's not enough to get themselves out of the car. You want to make sure they won't get hit by a car in a parking lot or head off in a direction away from help. If you believe your children could safely exit the car, navigate a parking lot, avoid the potential danger from strangers, and find help, then you might be ready to test their behavior to make sure they are absolutely ready to do this task without you.