Driving with children can be both fun and a solemn responsibility. Every one of us thinks that we’re the best drivers, but let’s face reality, having a bunch of excited kids in the car is a challenge for even the greatest driver. On top of regular caregiving, you have to ensure the kid’s safety on the go and adequately protected in the car during the journey. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, around 12,175 children aged 0 to 19 died every year in the United States. You need to drive smart to stay safe on the road.
Every day in the U.S., car accidents kill 1 to 2 children under 13 years and injure almost 340 others. Though you may not have control over other drivers, you can certainly protect the children in your car. Following the safe driving practices, you’re making sure that your kids are protected to the full extent of your ability.
Car Seats Are Essential
The absence of apt car seats can pose a danger to the safety of your kids. And you can’t just install any car seat; it must be according to your child’s age and measurement. Every country has some specific rules according to the use of baby car seats that consider the child’s age, weight, and height. Ensure to adhere to the rules and secure the seat with tethers and latches. However, a wrong seat size can prove to be fatal and must follow the product manufacturer’s instructions.
It may seem too obvious, but some people still won’t use seat belts despite the profound benefits of doing so. In fact, in the U.S., 1 in 7 people do not wear a seatbelt while driving. However, suppose drivers and passengers wear a seatbelt. In that case, it cuts the risk of serious injury by 50 percent and of death by 45 percent. While people not wearing a seatbelt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle during a crash.
According to the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts saved almost 15,000 lives only in 2016. The data also shows that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. Over half of the teenagers who died in crashes weren’t wearing a seat belt.
Watch Your Speed
Speed limits are determined for a reason. Though they might seem like arbitrary numbers, it’s essential for the passengers’ safety to follow the traffic rules. You don’t want to go too slow and impede the normal flow of traffic and, in the worst case, lead to accidents. Also, it is necessary to adjust your speed with changing conditions on the road. You need to be extra vigilant during road condition is bad or during harsh weather conditions. Children’s Hospital Colorado also highlights that if the kids are properly restrained in their seats, they are less likely to misbehave.
Keep The Kids Occupied During The Trip
Kids are not as patient as adults, so consider how long the kids will be in the car, and then create a conducive environment for them. For example, if the trip is short, you can set up a playlist of sing-along songs, play “I Spy” or the license-plate game. However, if the ride will be long, you better have another adult with you that can attend to the kids.
Secure Gear and Organize Properly
Any loose stuff in the car can become dangerous projectiles if you have to jam on the brakes or get into a crash. Don’t pile anything heavy on the package shelf behind the back seats. And if you do have some stuff, use cargo anchors to secure them in the trunk. You should place the heavy items on the floor or in the front of the cargo area and never on the top of the cargo pile, as it can fly into the seating area. The same goes for people if they are unbelted; they can become projectile in case of a crash, injuring themselves and the passengers up front.
Don’t Use A Mobile Phone – Minimize Distractions
We all know the temptation of the beeps and buzzes of cell phone notifications. But when you’re on the road driving, resist the enticement to read and respond to messages, especially when you have kids in the car. A better option would be to put your phone on airplane mode, put it away, or completely shut it off. Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. And if you’re driving at 55 mph, it’s equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field, blind. In the United States, every day, more than 9 people are killed due to distracted driving. So, you don’t want to put yourself and your kids in a dangerous situation and teach young people good habits.
Never Leave Children Alone in or Around The Car
There’s a high risk of tragic children’s death in the car due to heatstroke. Every year in the U.S., around 39 children die due to heatstroke after being left in a hot car. And the tragedy often happens inadvertently when the parents leave their children in the scorching hot weather. Be vigilant and ensure your child’s whereabouts. Also, keep reminders for yourself that a child is in the car, i.e., a toy in the front seat or essential items like a briefcase or purse in the back. That way, you’ll have to look in the back before leaving the car.
Know Who to Call for Towing Help – Expect the Unexpected
Driving with children can be a test of your patience and can quickly put you on the path to road rage. You need to be alert at all times and take deep breaths to control your emotions. However, even if you follow all the best practices of safe driving, accidents and mishaps do happen. Either you make a mistake, or someone else on the road does, you can find yourself stuck on the side of the road. When something like this happens, make sure you know a reliable and efficient company that can assist you in times of need.
Flag Towing service, a veteran towing and roadside assistance service provider in Texas can make things look easy for you. With our trained and certified team of towing professionals, we can guarantee you the safety of your loved ones. Our professional tow truck service is unparalleled in the region with transparent pricing. Though you need to stay safe while we rush to your location. You get the best service at your location, contact us at 972-567-7299 and we’ll be there in no time.