Driving Safely with Kids

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Charlene RothCharlene Roth

Driving Safely with KidsPutting your children in the right car seat is tremendously important. Children under the age of one should always ride in the back seat in rear-facing car seats. It’s best to keep kids rear-facing as long as possible.

After your kids outgrow forward-facing car seats, they should use a booster seat until the seat belt fits them properly without it. If a seatbelt doesn’t fit correctly, it cannot function correctly and becomes a hazard. Make sure you review car seat recommendations.

Keeping your eyes on the road

Monitoring kids through the rearview mirror, turning around to assist or scold children, and even talking to children can be distracting while driving. Kids are four times as distracting as adult passengers. Have a baby in tow? You’ll be eight times more distracted than if you were driving with an adult.

If you’re heading on a long drive, it’s a good idea to bring another parent or adult along to help with the kids. But what about daily driving? Parents should set expectations for kids regarding behavior in the car, but when they’re too young or your efforts fail, pull over rather than trying to parent from the driver’s seat.

Smartphones are more easily integrated with your car’s hands-free system than ever, in addition to having apps that come in handy whether you’re on a daily commute or a long-distance road trip. Some smartphones allow you to access your phone completely hands-free and use Google Assistant to connect you with GPS, soothing music or traffic information, all while your phone stays in locked mode.

Insuring your vehicle

Driving without proper insurance isn’t an option when you have kids. It might feel like your budget can’t handle another expense, but if you get in an accident without insurance, you could face major medical debt and risk a driver’s license suspension.

Full coverage can be pricey, but if you shop around and compare rates it’s easy to find a provider who can meet your budget and coverage needs. Many providers allow for policy bundling, which provides for discounts when you have multiple policies (life, auto, etc.) through one provider

Maintaining a family-friendly vehicle

Breaking down on the side of the road could mean a dangerous situation for you and your kids, especially in extreme weather. Keeping your car in great shape is a must when you’re a parent, so keep up with scheduled maintenance in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. If you’re a novice, Ride Digest offers valuable information on automobile care and maintenance.

In addition to maintaining your vehicle, consider upgrading to a car with modern safety features if your current vehicle is more than 10 years old. Older cars don’t have the same high-tech safety features and front-crash test results as newer vehicles. Even replacing your old car with a late-model used vehicle will generally entail a host of major safety upgrades.

When driving is a daily part of life, it’s easy to forget just how dangerous it can be. While it might seem harmless to referee backseat arguments or let your elementary schooler ride in the front seat, little choices like these can have major consequences if things go wrong. Play it safe and take the right precautions before getting your family on the road.

Image via Pixabay.

Charlene RothAbout Charlene Roth

Charlene is a stay-at-home mom of four. She’s a chronic worrywart and can’t help but always be concerned for the welfare of her kids. She feels better knowing that she’s taking steps to educate herself – and her children – on how to stay safe in every circumstance she can think of.

View all posts by Charlene Roth here.



Driving Safely with Kids

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