I may be one of the few but I can honestly say I enjoy my daily commute. Granted, I am not exempt from the traffic and the rage that occasionally comes with it-okay, you got me! That always comes with it-but, I do enjoy hopping on the highway and cruising to my destination. I almost find it to be calming, always plotting my next move, constantly surveying the scene, and deciphering how I can safely weave through traffic. With kids however, that sense of calm flies out the window, usually replaced with lone Cheerios, sticky door handles, shrill screaming, and kids songs on repeat. But gosh, are they cute!
Keeping kids safe while driving is a parent’s number one concern for obvious reasons. What used to be a peaceful drive can be stressful as not only are the surrounding cars unpredictable, but so are the mood swings of the little guy(s) in the backseat. To keep your precious cargo safe while driving, here are a few safety tips:
It goes without saying, everyone should buckle up, and I mean everyone. Kids are impressionable, at a surprisingly young age they absorb more than we might like, even about that conversation regarding a certain toupee your uncle secretly wears. Set a good example and be safe in the process!
Put the phone down. That text or conversation can wait, especially when you have your own personal conversationalist(s) chatting it up in the backseat. If you absolutely must, use a Bluetooth.
Be aware of your surroundings, and not just in the backseat. Note speed limit changes, that pesky car who seemingly loves driving in your blind spot, construction zones, pedestrians, etc.
Drive defensively and keep at a safe distance. Consistent with the previous tip, always be on the defense and plan for an escape route. By traveling 3 seconds behind the car in front of you – thanks Drivers Ed. – you’ll be at a safer distance to avoid an accident.
Be organized. Sure, lots of toys and activities are great for road trips with the kids, but physics tells us those things are going to go flying if not secured during an accident. Protect your children as well as yourself and consider a cargo net when toys are not in use.
Mediate later. You know what I’m talking about. There’s the temper tantrum, the crying, the screaming, or the ever favorite occasional airborne object. If you can, confront the issue when not operating a vehicle. If your kids are old enough to understand, explain to them prior to departure that you need to be safe on the road. In order to do that, they need to help you keep everyone safe by practicing good behavior. Turn it into a game if you want! Just remember to take a breath and keep calm; it’s much harder to concentrate on the road when flustered!
Let’s just be thankful for child-lock windows…
What driving safety tips work for you? Any interesting/funny stories to rehash? Share it here!