Did you know? Having kids in the car is 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone while driving. Car safety is important when kids of all ages are in tow, for both the driver and the children. Next time you head out on the road, remember these six tips for car safety with kids:
1. Buckle Up Every Time
Encourage this habit from an early age. Before pulling out of the driveway, check that everyone is buckled up. Set a good example by putting yours on every time, too.
2. Find Some Good Entertainment
Set the kids up with entertainment so you can focus on driving. Listen to an audiobook together, encourage sing-alongs, play silly road trip games like “Count the cows” or “I spy” (as long as they don’t require you to take your eyes off the road), store coloring books or magnetic board games in the back, or prompt the kids to make up their own games.
3. Place a Trash Bag in the Backseat
This could be a grocery sack that fits into the back pocket of a front seat, or maybe something that stays in a compartment on a passenger door. Either way, have a container back there for rogue bits of cereal, food wrappers, hand wipes, and any other little pieces of trash your kids might throw about. You won’t have to spend time (and attention) gathering up trash during or after your drive. It’s a little thing that could make a big difference when you’re on the highway.
4. Take Regular Breaks on a Long Drive
Are you paying too much attention to unruly tots and not enough to the road? On a long trip, kids are less likely to get cranky and rowdy if you stop to stretch and find a bathroom every couple of hours. When you’re on a long road trip, letting the kiddos get their wiggles out every now and then could make a huge difference in every passenger’s demeanor.
5. Get the Right Insurance
Having the right car insurance is vital to protecting both yourself and your family. Whether you find affordable auto insurance online or talk to an agent, it’s possible to get good insurance without using up the family budget. See if you are eligible for any discounts, and take the time to customize your payments. Being both safe and frugal is possible.
6. Stay Off Your Phone
Limit cell phone use as much as possible, and eliminate it altogether if you can. Kids learn by example, and if they see that you don’t engage in this form of distracted driving, they are less likely to do so when they get older. Need some help? Enlist your kids to remind you not to use your phone in the car. You can also download apps that block incoming calls and texts. Some mobile phone apps even send an automated response to the person contacting you to let them know you're driving and will respond when you can.