Did you know that every day, road accidents cause the death of one to two children under 13 years and injure 340 others? These statistics show the vulnerability of child passengers and the need for safety measures when driving with kids. Driving with kids can be fun for some people but overwhelming for others.
A study conducted in Australia revealed that children are 12 times more distracting to a driver than driving while talking on the phone. Driving with a child screaming in the back seat is unpleasant, and you are tempted to keep looking back. This article presents five budget-friendly tips for safe driving with your family.
Before you start your journey, ensure you carry everything your kids need to stay calm and happy. For instance, if your kids are more relaxed listening to music, be ready to stream music for them, or play it from your phone. Better yet, you can invest in a kid-friendly MP3 player; some of the more affordable options cost between $20 and $30.
Does your child need a soother or favorite toy when he's in the car seat? Ensure you carry the toy and soother to save you from a trip of crying and complaints. In addition, attach your kid's toy or soother to the car seat to avoid distractions when driving. Or, you could pick up a stuffed toy that only accompanies your child when he’s in the car.
Use Your Phone as a Driving Assistant
Although your phone is an excellent driving assistant, we are definitely not suggesting that you text or make phone calls while behind the wheel. No, this is dangerous and leads to distracted driving. Instead, use your phone as a driving assistant. You can use GPS for directions, stream music to soothe your baby, and call for help in case of an emergency.
These days, smartphones have integrated features that work with your car to offer you hands-free usage. Smartphones, such as Apple’s powerful iPhone Pro Max and Samsung’s and Google’s feature-packed Android phones, have settings that will limit your interaction with the device while you’re driving. This way, you’re not tempted to check your texts or emails when you should have your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. You don’t have to download an expensive app to use these features — you just need to adjust some settings.
Buckle Your Kids Properly
Although buckling up seems to be very simple, many people still ignore it. Seat belts can be uncomfortable, but they protect your family from injuries in the event of an accident. What’s more, seat belts also save lives. Research shows that in the last five decades, seat belts have saved more than 300,000 lives. Here’s the best part: It doesn’t cost a thing to talk to your kids about the importance of seat belts and why they should wear one.
Ensure that your family sits correctly in the vehicle. Kids under 12 years should ride on the rear seat. They should have a car seat or use the vehicle's seat belt. Research shows that 35 percent of children who died after an accident didn't use a car seat or seat belt. So, ensure you buy the proper car seat (What to Expect has a great list of affordable options for parents on a budget) and install it properly. Safe Kids Worldwide affirm that 73 percent of car seats are not installed correctly. You should use your car seat's manual to install it correctly. Alternatively, you can hire a car seat technician to help you cinch the car seat well.
Don't Leave Your Kids in the Car
Did you know that 38 kids die annually from heatstroke every year? Heatstroke occurs when a child is left in a hot car. Never leave your kid unattended in a vehicle even if it's 'just for a minute.' Additionally, ensure your kids don't play near cars. Although your car has a back camera, take the time to walk around your car to check for children and pets behind your vehicle before you put your vehicle into reverse.
Traveling with your family can be an enormous amount of fun. You get company as you drive while they get a chance to explore and visit new places. However, you have an added obligation to keep your family safe on the road. This article presents five tips for safe driving with family, none of which will do drastic harm to your household budget. So, make sure you use them the next time you travel with your family — and be safe!
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