Driving requires 100% focus and attention. And while driving with kids, that attention needs to be 200% since there’s nothing more precious for us than our children. Kids have this innate ability to throw unexpected tantrums to grab our attention and just a wink of eye’s distraction can sometimes result in not so good consequences.
It’s almost been a year since I started driving alone with my toddler. And every morning my husband makes me remember the Defensive Driving Training he gave me.
Let’s have a look at some of the safety tips while driving with kids:
GENERAL SAFETY TIPS:
- Get your Car’s service done regularly and make sure your Car Insurance is not due.
- Invest in good quality car seats for your kids. Most cars fit one or two car seats without any trouble but if you have triplets or expecting a third child, you need to change you car. Check out all the Three Car Seat Cars available in the market.
- Always keep the gas /fuel tank filled enough to avoid any troubles on the way.
- Keep the First-aid kit in car in case of any emergency.
BEFORE YOU START:
- Make sure all the tires are in pretty good condition and not under inflated. Make it a habit to get the tire pressure checked monthly.
- Turn on the car for 5- 10 minutes especially in cold weather when the oil thickens and moves slowly.
- Adjust your seat and mirrors and fasten your seat belt.
- Buckle up the straps of your kid’s Car Seat and double check if it has been done properly to make sure that your child is not uncomfortable.
- Activate the Child safety locks of your car. In most of the cars, these can be activated via a small switch on the edge of the door.
- Avoid taking any medication beforehand so that you don’t feel drowsy while driving. Drink and Drive is a strict NO while driving with kids.
- Keep the money and toll slips handy.
- Set up the Music Player and playlist before you start driving.
- Keep the busy bags of interesting activities ready for the kids so that they don’t get bored and start bothering you.
WHILE DRIVING :
- Avoid talking on telephones or checking messages while driving. Your whole focus should be on driving.
- Basically avoid any distraction like reading, drinking and eating. Take a break if you feel tired or sleepy during long hours of driving.
- Always look back through the mirrors while driving. You don’t need to turn back yourself.
- Make sure to look through the mirrors properly while changing lanes on the road.
- Use your car’s navigation system to guide you around traffic jams.
- Don’t try to pick up items while driving that fall on the floor
- Don’t allow kids to fight or climb in the car. Too much noise can distract you.
- Keep in mind the Defensive Driving techniques :
The standard Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations, ANSI/ASSE Z15.1, defines defensive driving skills as “driving to save lives, time and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.” – Wikipedia
Some of the defensive techniques I keep in mind are:
- Plan ahead for the unexpected and do not expect the other driver to do what you think he should do.
- Always adjust the speed of your car so that you are able to control it in case of emergencies.
- Follow the two-second rule according to which driver should stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of his or her vehicle.
- Drive safely considering weather and road conditions.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your eyes moving and check the mirrors frequently. If you suspect an aggressive driver around you, slow down to avoid him.
- Also keep an eye on pedestrians and pets along the road.
- Plan your movements anticipating the worst case scenario.
What about sticking this sign at the back of your car?