Driving is a daily activity for most families when going to work, dropping kids off at school, running errands, or going on a trip. Traveling with kids can be fun or taxing for different parents, but the bottom line is, it demands extra care. While you can’t control other drivers, the following tips can help you stay safe on the road when driving with children.
Buckling up your children is simple, but many people ignore the importance of seat belts. According to NHTSA, in the past 50 years, seat belts have played a role in saving 329,715 lives. Additionally, data regarding teen accidents shows that half of those who died hadn’t buckled up their seat belts. If you forget to buckle up your kids, the accessories, car seats, and boosters are useless and could put them at high risk in case of an accident.
Install proper car seats
According to the NHTSA estimate, child car seats can save at least 260 lives yearly when properly installed. Although most car seats are properly installed, they aren’t tightly secured. Ensure you install your children’s car seats correctly by following instructions that come with them or check online. Alternatively, you can have them installed by your used car dealer or find a local car seat technician to inspect and ensure the installation is appropriate.
Install car seats that are appropriate for their age, weight, and height. Know when it’s right to move them to the next level of seats or boosters but don’t rush.
Sit children at the right place
If your children are under 12 years old or don’t meet the average height and weight considered a 12-year-old’s, they must sit in the back. Children below or above four years old should always have their car boosters and seats installed in the rear.
Distracted driving is among the leading causes of road accidents. When you’re driving with your children, it’s easy to get distracted by their arguments and numerous requests. Before you begin your travels, ensure you have everything in place for your kids, like toys, snacks, games, or cartoons, to keep them busy.
Buzzes and beeps from mobile phones can be alluring, but you need to resist the urge to look or respond to text messages. When driving, activate airplane mode on your phone, switch it off, or keep it away. Install Bluetooth speaker for phone calls to avoid picking up your phone to answer.
Don’t leave children alone in the car
Heatstroke is a major cause of death yearly for children left in vehicles. Children are helpless in the face of an accident and could be hurt if they touch hot exhaust or bonnet. Always have reminders that you have children in the back by keeping a toy in the front or have your necessities in the rear.
One way or another, you have to travel with your kids at some point. They are an additional responsibility to driving, but you must ensure their safety at all times. Avoid a car accident by staying alert while driving, and remember to take your children with you when leaving the vehicle. Install car seats properly at the rear and ensure your kids buckle up to keep them safe.