There is no denying that going on a road trip with the kids or simply driving around with your young ones can be fun and adventurous for everyone, but you shouldn’t ignore the fact that it also poses some serious risks if you’re not careful. The truth is that driving requires your undivided attention, but staying focused on the road throughout the trip with your kids reenacting world war one in the back seat can prove to be a difficult challenge. This is why you need to prepare well in advance, and why you have to take every precaution to ensure that you and your kids are safe in and around the vehicle.
It all starts with the seat belt
First things first, you need to make sure that every passenger, including yourself, is properly strapped in. That means that you need to wear your seatbelt at all times while driving, and that backseat passengers need to be strapped in with a seatbelt as well. After all, seatbelts save lives, so don’t dismiss them even if you’re popping over to the supermarket a block away.
But beyond the government-mandated seatbelt, you also have to make sure that small children are seated in the appropriate car seat, and that they are facing the right way. Be sure to read the instructions carefully, and install the car seat so that there are no moving parts that might endanger your younglings. Place the child car seat in the middle of the backseat if possible, away from the side airbags.
Secure everything in its place
One of the painfully obvious hazards that many people don’t even think about is that the forces that impact the car during a collision are so great, that everything that’s not fixed in place becomes a projectile. One of the most dangerous scenarios is not you getting into a car accident, it’s that pen you left on the dashboard instead of putting it in the glove compartment, or that iPad that your kids are holding in their hands instead of fixing it in place in the back of your seat.
These projectiles can accelerate at tremendous speeds during a collision, even if you’re traveling at normal speed yourself, so you have to make sure that everything is in its place at all times. Use various compartments to store all moving elements, and don’t let your kids leave anything lying around.
Find the right insurer
Having the right insurance policies on hand can save you a lot of stress and financial hardship, especially when you find yourself in a car accident and if God forbid, someone happens to require medical attention. There are two types of insurance you need to have.
Of course, you have to have proper medical insurance, but you also need to find the best car insurance for your needs, preferably a policy that will cover the costs of damage done to your vehicle and its contents as well as all property damage caused by the collision. It’s important that you work with an insurer that can tailor the policy to your needs, so that you know that you are covered against every eventuality, but without breaking the bank in the process.
Never leave children alone
Kids can be quite unpredictable at times, no matter how good of a job you did teaching them proper manners and educating them on vehicle safety. They might listen to you while you’re around, but the moment you leave them to their own devices, chances are that they will start misbehaving. Don’t risk it no matter how old they are, and never leave them alone in or around the vehicle. If you have to pop out to refuel the car, or if you’re getting out to check into the playground you’re visiting, then make sure that you can see what your kids are up to at all times.
Adhere to safe and responsible driving
And finally, nothing can replace safe and responsible driving habits. Now that you have children on board, you can’t take any risks, so make sure that you’re within the prescribed speed limit at all times, don’t surpass any vehicles if you don’t have to, keep both eyes peeled for all incoming traffic, and whatever you do, don’t text and drive. If your state’s law permit it, you can get a hands-free for the car, but you shouldn’t even use that if you want to maximize the safety of all passengers.
Staying safe on the road doesn’t always depend on your driving abilities or the precautions you take, because you can’t know how other participants on the road are going to act. Nevertheless, it’s important that you minimize all risks as much as possible by adhering to these precautions.