Managing Distractions Well: How To Driving Safely With Kids In The Car

I am so tempted to write a joke that starts "Children in the front seat cause accidents..." but I'm going to leave out the rest of it because I try to keep this blog clean, but anyhow... children in the front seat do cause accidents; many car accidents can be attributed to distractions such as kids in the car. Here are some ways to keep safe while driving with your youngins.

Showing children that you’re not prepared to respond to distractions is an effective way to prevent distracted driving, according to Defensive Driving. This is easier said than done, though. 90% of parents admit to being distracted by their children while driving. But as distracted driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do, you need to take steps to drive safely with your kids.

Make regular stops

It’s usually recommended that you take a break from driving after two hours on the road. It’s particularly crucial you follow this guideline if you’re driving with a baby. Official guidance states babies shouldn’t spend any longer than two hours in a car seat in one period. Regular stops are also beneficial for kids as they allow kids to stretch their legs, burn off some energy, re-fuel, and take a bathroom break. Where possible, stop at places such as parks and green spaces, so there’s plenty of space for a good run around.

Set ground rules & educate

Kids should be taught about road safety between the ages of four and six years of age, according to Safe Routes Utah. When your kids reach this age, make sure you teach your children about the importance of good behavior when you’re driving. You should also set some ground rules, such as no shouting, no shoving each other or the chairs, and no acting up. Explain to your children that this type of behavior contributes to road accidents. A good example of the dangers of distracted driving was demonstrated in a crash in Easton Area School District, Pennsylvania, in November 2021. A bus driver crashed into a creek as a result of two students misbehaving on the bus. Another well-documented distracted driving case happened in Texas in 2019. 2-year-old Allie White lost her life after being hit by a distracted driver. In cases like this, a local car accident attorney will need to get involved. They will help to manage the legal details of the case and will work to claim compensation for the victim or their family.

Give the kids their own distractions

Research has found it takes an average of just 27 minutes before a child gets bored on a long car journey. A bored child is likely to whine, kick the back of your chair, moan, argue, and throw things. All of these things are a big distraction when you need to concentrate on the road. It’s highly recommended that you pack plenty of items to distract your kids from the journey ahead. This should include things such as handheld video consoles, tablets, portable DVD players, and similar technology. Activity packs and goodie bags are a good idea for younger children. These can include travel games, coloring books, pencils, snacks, and stickers.

Avoid using technology

Aside from having your kids in the car, one of the biggest distractions on the road is technology. Cell phones, in particular, are a problem. The University of Utah found that using a phone while driving increases your chances of being involved in an accident by 5.36. When you consider the fact that studies have concluded driving with a child is 12 times more distracting than driving and using a phone, mixing the two is a bad idea. You’re much more likely to be involved in a collision if you have multiple distractions in front of you, so keep all technology away. If you think you might be tempted to pick up your phone, lock it in the trunk of your car at the start of your journey.

There’s no denying that driving with kids in the car is a distraction. But as distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, you need to do all you can to make every drive with your kids as safe as possible.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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