If you’re a mom or dad, you probably feel like one of your biggest jobs is being a chauffeur to your kids. You likely are also more focused on safety when they’re in the car with you.
However, kids are a leading cause of distracted driving. exercise greater safety precautions when they’re in the car. Whether it’s an infant screaming because they dropped their toy or a teen complaining about their substitute math teacher, kids of all ages can take your eyes and mind off the road. That’s particularly true if you’re the only adult in the car and there’s no one else to deal with these things.
So how do you strike a balance between not ignoring your children and keeping your attention on your driving? Here are a few tips:
- Plan ahead by making sure that your kids have an activity to keep them occupied during the ride. If you’re going to be in the car for a while, you might even want to pack an activity bag (or let them pack it themselves) filled with books, games, snacks and whatever interests them.
- If you’ve got a vehicle with a back seat entertainment system, make sure you’ve got music, movies or other entertainment ready to play. Just be sure that the kids have headphones or keep the volume at a reasonable level.
- Pull over if necessary. Sometimes this is the best solution if a child has dropped something they can’t live without or if a screaming match erupts.
- Take breaks. If you’re on a road trip, look for some places along the route where you can stop and get something to eat, let the kids run around and use the restroom. These breaks will do all of you some good. You know how long your kids can deal with being in the car, so plan those breaks ahead of time accordingly.
By limiting kid-related distractions, you can be better prepared to deal with an unexpected move by another driver. However, if you or a loved one is injured in a crash, make sure that you get the compensation you need to deal with medical bills, car damages and other expenses.