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As a mum of two young kids, I find myself spending many hours driving in the car. From shuttling the kids to and from school everyday, to dropping and picking them up from their after school clubs such as football, swimming and dancing …which can be quite a few as they are so active. My driving does not stop there as I also find myself running errands such as shopping, picking up deliveries, stopping by to meet friends for coffee etc. Don’t get me wrong, we do try to walk as much as we can and we have even joined the 2018 WOW Walk the Americas ‘School Challenge’ where school kids are encouraged to walk, scoot, cycle or park and stride (if you live too far from the school) in the morning in return for a badge which they collect.
Car Safety is very much my priority because we spend so much time in the car, hence I wanted to share this post with our readers and others out there who are driving with young kids on how to stay safe on the road.
1) Mobile Phones / Sat Nav
I am guilty as charged! Remembering the directions to a place even though I have been there before is not a strong point of mine, hence I am often driving with the aid of my phone as I am connected to google maps to show my the way. Using mobile phones or sat nav can be distracting, so I would recommend setting your phone you start driving and do not touch the phone while you are driving on the road ….even to check your map. If you really need to readjust your route, then stop your car at the designated areas to do it. As for using the mobile phone, please don’t. If your phone rings, just ignore it. If you need to make an urgent call, stop your car somewhere safe and do it. Don’t risk answering your phone or texting, its just too risky.
2) Try to Avoid Distractions
As a mum of two young kids, I know what you are thinking in your head…there is never a dull moment in the car. You may find the kids arguing loudly, shouting, singing, asking questions non stop such as ‘Are we there yet’ when you have barely driven for like 5 minutes! You have to learn to keep your cool and shut yourself out of that moment and concentrate on the road. Its so important to be focused when driving. Mostly importantly, stay calm cause you are able to think rationally when on the road, especially when you are reversing or parking.
Driving under the influence is a big no no. There are times when our kids are ill, and its the weekend and we have opted to avoid drinking alcohol just in case we needed to bring them to the hospital. Its better being safe than sorry. If you have had a drink, and need to rush to the hospital or drive somewhere…then just call a cab, or a family member or a friend to help you out. Don’t risk driving when you are under the influence.
4) Fit to drive
Make sure firstly you are fit to drive, that you can see well and have no physical problems which will stop you from driving properly. If you need night time glasses, do get one.
5) Having Proper Tyres
We have always sworn that having proper and reliable tyres which are correctly inflated is so important especially if you drive long distance, or in wet or snowy conditions. We tend not to skimp on tyres and brakes when it comes to our car. We know how important these are for our safety. Do ensure that your tyres have sufficient thread and depth of tread – at least 1.6mm in the centre ¾ of the tread in a continuous band around the tyre.
If you are not sure how old your tyres are, then take a drive up to your local garage to see if your tyres are fit. Tyres tend to have dates on them and the mechanic will be able to let you know if yours is still in good condition. Oh and don’t forget to have a spare tyre as well as the equipment such as a wrench and jack in your car booth. We also always ask our mechanic to tighten the wheel using manpower and not machine so that in case of a puncture, we are able to change the tyre ourselves.
6) Automobile Association (AA)
I am often driving alone with kids on long distance journeys hence I find that being an AA member gives me a bit more confidence to know that if I am in trouble at any time, I am just a call away from help especially if I have kids in the car.
7) MOT Checks and Service
It is so important to make sure you do your MOT every year and that your car has had its necessary service and checks done, this is for your own safety and the safety of your kids. Also remember to get your car lights checked to ensure they are working. If you would like more information about servicing your car, do check out Cars.com
8) Car Seat / Seat Belt
Although having a car seat or wearing seat belt is not a requirement in most countries, it is in the UK. We would like to emphasize how important this is! Having the right car seat / booster seat for your child is so important and make sure the seat is fitted in properly . When you purchase a car seat, make sure it is the right one for your child according to their height, weight and size. Most importantly make sure your child is strapped in correctly and the belt is not too lose as this could save their life in an accident.
I am not sure how true this is, but I recently read in an article that the safest place for a child in the car, is at the centre back seat. Adults should also ensure they are wearing their seat belt at all times. Lastly please do not place a rear facing baby seat at the front seat of your car (due to the air bag). If you really have to, then make sure the air bag has been disconnected.
9) Following rules
Know your road signs and follow them. Remember to use your indicator especially when you are making a turn. Follow the speed limits as they are there for a good reason. Slow down at traffic lights and get ready to stop when you see the yellow sign. When you are at a junction, completely Stop when you see the STOP sign. It is there, as cars coming from the other directions have obstructed view of you. Turn your lights on; hazzard lights when you have stopped, fog lights when its foggy, your car lights soon as its getting dark…don’t be lazy.
10) Don’t Rush
I have to admit, I am always in a rush chasing time. So to avoid speeding and rushing on the road I tend to leave the house 5 to 10 minutes earlier than I need to so I am at the car park waiting and not in a rush on the road.
Hope these tips will help you to be a bit more safer on the road.
** Note: This is a collaborative post, text and image has been provided to us for a small fee.