10 Tips for Keeping Your Children Safe While Travelling
As parents, we try to keep our children out of harm anywhere and everywhere we can. We can’t help it, that’s just the way we’re programmed. Now, of course, that safety extends to every sphere of our (and theirs, whether they want it or not) lives, so it’s not wrong to assume we’d want to keep them safe even when they’re traveling with us. But how do you do that? What should things be mindful of the most?
Well, here are ten tips on safe driving with children to give you a fair idea:
#1. Seating Your Child At The Right Place
Now, this may sound a little odd to those unaware of the risks but seating your child in the front passenger seat is a bad idea, even if they’re buckled up properly. The thing is, most cars today are fitted with airbags that deploy instantly when a car crashes to soften the blow to the head. But wait, you ask, isn’t seating children at the front better then?
Well, no. The danger comes from how fast the bag is deployed; adults can take the impact fine, but children may get fatally injured by the speeding bag. That’s why it’s always best to have your children seated at the back.
#2. Driving Safe And Obeying The Rules
The best ways to keep your children safe while driving is not to get involved in an accident in the first place. And the best way to avoid that is to follow the traffic guidelines to the tee.
Drive slowly, follow the traffic signals, and let others pass you if it’s not too much trouble; follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll always reach your destination safely with your kids.
#3. Buckle Up (Properly!)
For those of you who think car seats for children are unnecessary and overrated, let me raise just one point in objection: Can anything that guarantees your child’s safety in the event of an accident be overrated?
My thoughts exactly. That being said, when it comes to car seats for children, one size does not fit all, and you should choose your car seats based on how well they fit your car (over only the best car seat protectors obviously), your child, and that they work properly.
#4. No Distractions
With the amount of discouragement that’s gone into trying to get drivers not to use their cell phones while driving, it’s still surprising to find cases of accidents that occurred because the driver was using his cell phone.
Using your cell phone while driving may not seem like a task that’s too hard to pull off, but according to actual studies conducted on this subject (look it up if you don’t believe me!) using your cell phone while driving really reduces your chances of avoiding accidents, even if you’re not using your hands to text. That’s right even making calls with a wireless headset can prove dangerous, so how about just avoiding this altogether? It’d keep you and your kids safe.
#5. Vehicle Maintenance Is Important
Regularly check your brakes and tires. Have a car with proper functioning seat belts and safety restraints. If your car’s in safe tip-top condition today, make sure it stays that way tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, AND the day after that. Do not slouch on vehicle maintenance, or you and your kids may end up paying dearly for it.
#6. Absolutely No Alcohol
No. Just NO. Not even one can of beer. NOT EVEN ONE SIP OF BEER. I don’t care how well you can hold your liquor, drinking while driving is reckless endangerment, both of your kids’ lives and your own.
You can wait to get sloshed till you get home. Just not before you’re driving a car with your kids in the back.
#7. Never Leave Your Children In The Car Alone
If you’re going to make a couple of stops in the middle of your journey, they always make sure to take your kids with you. Leaving them in the car is a liability.
Either they may end up causing harm to themselves (they’re just children after all) or some unpleasant stranger may cast malicious intentions in their direction. Either way, it’s best not to take a risk in this regard.
#8. Keep A Vigilant Eye On Other Cars On The Road
Unfortunately, while accidents on the road may not always be your fault, you may end up the unfortunate victim of someone else’s reckless driving, the cost of which you and your child may have to pay with your lives. It’s not fair, but it’s the truth.
But you know what they say, it takes two bad drivers to make an accident. Meaning if you keep a vigilant eye on the road and the cars on it, there’s a guaranteed chance of you scraping away from an accident unharmed, protecting your children simultaneously. It’s a little tiring, but doable.
#9. Secure Your Luggage
Any luggage must be tied down securely, so it doesn’t fly off and hurt someone, especially your child in the back seat if you have to slam the brakes suddenly. Now, some luggage needs to be tied down more securely than others (I doubt a pillow could do as much damage as a suitcase) so you’ll need to prioritize and effectively manage your inventory. Though it’s not a hard job. Just remember, heavier cases below lighter cases and tied down more securely, and you’ll be fine.
#10. Don’t Drive If You’re Too Tired
Stayed up late last night trying to finish up an assignment from work? Better not drive your kids to school in the morning if you don’t feel like you can keep your eyes open for a full minute. Call a taxi and drop them off to school riding in the back.
True, the caution may seem unwarranted, but trust me, when it comes to driving, all it takes is one mistake (or in your case one whiff of sleep), and you’re wound up in a terrible crash the next minute.