If there is one thing you love about summer, it’s that you can take your children on vacations. You like going on road trips and enjoying time out and about with your family.
Unfortunately, they can become a little unruly, and that can make it difficult to drive without distractions. If you’re like most parents, you don’t want to accidentally crash or end up in a near-miss because of distractions, but what can you do to prevent them?
Keeping your kids calm in the car is a process
Studies have shown that driving with a child in the vehicle is up to 12 times more dangerous than driving while talking on your phone. Distracted driving is dangerous, but keeping your kids calm can be tough, too.
Start the process of teaching your children about “car manners” as early as you can. This should include:
- Talking to your children about the risks of distracting mom or dad in an age-appropriate way
- Discussing what your children need to feel comfortable on longer rides
- Making a rule to avoid yelling or screaming while the vehicle is in motion
Some other helpful tips you can use include:
- Using age-appropriate restraints and seating in the vehicle to prevent children from getting out of their seats
- Considering the use of electronics, like a tablet with headphones, to distract your children on longer rides
- Using safety seating for your pets as well as children
- Avoiding allowing food or drink in the vehicle, since choking could occur and become a distraction
Timing your trip right makes a big difference in safety
Sometimes, timing makes the biggest difference in safety inside your vehicle. Can you start driving at 4 a.m. or early enough in the morning that your children are still tired and ready to sleep for a few hours? Can you start driving at night and let them sleep while you get to your destination? Consider timing meal breaks into the trip, and plan for solid naptimes, so you can drive without distractions.
Driving with children can be dangerous, but if you take some precautions and plan carefully, you have a better chance of getting to your destination safely.