You might feel like you’ve always been a careful driver — you always buckled up, never got in an accident and have a clean driving record. But now you are responsible for not only your safety, but the safety of your little ones too.
If you are a mindful driver, then there is plenty you should continue to do to protect both you and your children on the road. At the same time, there are a few habits you can change or add to your driving routine to make sure your next drive isn’t your last.
Here are some injury-preventing and life-preserving measures you can take when you travel with children:
It’s both unlawful and unsafe to not wear a seat belt in South Carolina. For your small children strapped into car and booster seats, it’s crucial to not only buckle them up, but also reevaluate the installation of their seats. About 46% of car seats aren’t installed correctly, which makes them less effective. If you can make a trip to your local auto repair shop, they should be able to help you out. Otherwise, the internet has a plethora of written guidelines and instructional videos on how to double-check if your car seats need some adjustments.
Don’t forget to check on your older ones either. Even if they can and usually do buckle up themselves, a little reminder never hurt anyone. In fact, almost 700 children under the age of 12 died in car crashes in 2017, and nearly half of the deaths of children who were between ages 8 and 12 weren’t wearing a seat belt.
As a parent, your mind is probably always moving a mile a minute. You might be thinking about the prep you have to do for the next family meal immediately after eating, while also making sure you take care of personal responsibilities. Fortunately, in many areas of life, you can multitask. For example, if the chicken is in the oven, then you might have enough time to send some emails.
However, when you’re behind the wheel, driving should be your main focus. Your phone should be well out of reach and you should keep other distractions, like changing music, to a minimum. The benefit of keeping your calm through your daily commutes with your children is two-fold. Not only will you be alert, but your children will follow suit and be less likely to cause a disturbance.
Making sure everyone is buckled-up correctly before you hit the road and making safe driving a priority while on the open road can set you up for a lower risk of colliding with another vehicle.