Whether you're going on the school run or a vacation, your family car is probably an essential part of day-to-day life. We all know that sitting in a vehicle for a long period of time can be a challenge, but when you've got the kids squabbling in the back it can be even tougher In this article, PassSmart, who work in the driver training industry, give a few top tips to staying safe on the road when you've got the kids in tow.
|Photo Credit: visualthinker at Flickr|
It goes without saying that you need to make sure the kids are in the correct car seats for their age and size. The car seat also needs to fit in your vehicle and you should make sure it's got a good safety rating from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). You can find more about ratings and find the best car seat for you at http://www.nhtsa.gov/.
The NHTSA also advises that children are seated in the back until they reach 12 years old.
Driven to distraction
We all know distracted driving is dangerous, and the kids can be one of the biggest distractions for parents in the car. Whether you've got one child or siblings to look after, knowing how to cope with in-car tantrums is essential.
Making sure they've got something to keep them entertained is one of the best ways to prevent them from causing a distraction. Whether it's a portable DVD player, a games console or an activity book, anything which will keep them occupied is bound to make your drive much less stressful.
If they do, however, start to get bored, tired or hungry (or all three!), try to keep your attention on the road until you have a safe opportunity to pull over. It's tough trying to ignore them when they're screaming at the top of their lungs, but it's important for their safety (as well as your own) that you keep your eyes on the road instead of what's going on behind you.
If your child is at an age where they will grab on to anything in sight, make sure you engage the child locks before setting off. This way, you'll know there's no chance of them opening the doors or windows midway through your journey!
Secure your contents
Making sure everything is secure is especially important if you're going on a family road trip and have had to pack the car to the brim with your belongings. Loose items can become dangerous missiles if you have to brake sharply or swerve, so ensure nothing is loose or able to move about whilst you're driving.
And, finally, don't forget to enjoy your trip!
This guest post was provided by Isabelle from Passsmart.com.