When you get in the car with your children, the last thing you want to happen is a car accident. While you can’t control other drivers that take the road, there are some things you can do to increase the chances of arriving at your destination safe and sound.
We’ve created a list of tips in our guide that will help you keep yourself and your little ones safe at all times. Driver safety is your responsibility every time you get behind the wheel, and we’re here to help you make the road just a little safer.
If, unfortunately, you find yourself in an unforeseen situation, a Lakeland car accident attorney can assist you in understanding your rights and navigating the legal process. Remember, being prepared and informed is just as crucial as driving safely.
Read on now.
Maintain Your Car
The first thing you can do before getting behind the wheel with your children is to ensure that your car has been appropriately maintained and unkempt. When you don’t take care of your car, it can cause a host of issues. For example, having your oil changed can prevent the engine from working harder than necessary, which, if left long term, can lead to problems with speed and other functions of the car.
If you’re unsure of how to maintain your car, we recommend you find a reputable mechanic shop in your area. During each oil change, they’ll run a diagnostic on your car and let you know about the health of your car. It’s also crucial to change your tires once they become bald.
A tire popping can cause you to be the trigger for an accident if you cannot pull to the side of the road safely without affecting others. When you take care of your car and ensure its maintenance is completed regularly, you can ensure it will run effectively and keep you and your children safe as you move from place to place.
Make Seat Belts Mandatory
When you’re on the go, the first thing you forget to do is buckle your seatbelt. Children often get in the car and are ready to go, which means they may forget to put on their seatbelts too. Forgetting to put on your seatbelt during an accident can be the difference between minor injury and death.
Whenever anyone gets in your car, they should always put their seatbelt on. Ensure you remind everyone to wear their safety belts and set the example by always wearing yours. If not, you could be searching for truck accident lawyers in Denver. It doesn’t matter how long or short the drive is. A seatbelt should always be worn.
Another reason to wear a seatbelt is that if a police officer stops you, you will be given a citation for not taking the proper safety precautions when operating a vehicle. It might also help to let your children know why you’re telling them where their seatbelts are.
Children are naturally curious, and communicating the reasons they need to wear a seatbelt can remind them each time they enter the car. Lastly, put in place a rule that the vehicle isn’t moving until everyone has their seatbelts on.
Even if it means you have to be a few minutes late to an event, safety first, and to be safe, you need to ensure that everyone is wearing a seatbelt.
Check Car Seats
If you have small children, chances are they’re still riding in a car seat or at least a booster seat until they outgrow them. Before taking off on your next adventure, ensure the car seats have been installed.
Most car seats have a diagram on the side detailing how to properly hook the seat in. When your child sits in it, the car seat shouldn’t move as the car turns, and your child should be in it properly. As children get older, they learn how to get out of car seats by themselves. However, you should still educate your child about why that’s dangerous.
The straps should fit snugly over your child’s chest, and all straps need to be buckled. You should never leave any of the straps unbuckled, even if you’re going from one end of your driveway to the other. While we’re on the topic of car seats, don’t move your child to forward-facing just because they want to see everything around them.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should remain rear-facing in their car seats until they are at least 2 years old. Again there is information on the car seat that details the height and weight your child needs to be before you turn them forward facing.
Minimize the Distractions
It’s easy to become distracted when driving, especially when you have kids in the car with you. You should minimize distractions because they can lead to an accident, or you could miss something like a light turning red and slowing down to a stop.
If your phone distracts you, the best way to eliminate that distraction is to go into your settings and turn on drive mode. When your car is moving, your phone will not allow you to do anything until you’ve stopped and the car is no longer running. This type of mode will also keep any notifications from coming through that could distract you.
It also helps if you teach your kids to abide by safety rules. For instance, when you are about to go over railroad tracks, let them know you need them to lower their voices. This is so you can hear noises just in case you’re being signaled to stop for an oncoming train.
The last thing you want is to be so distracted that you don’t notice the barrier coming down to keep cars from crossing the tracks until the train has passed.
Tips to Drive Safely With Kids: Tips to Know
As parents, we want to keep our children as safe as we possibly could. This means you want to minimize distractions and ensure your children understand the different ways to remain safe while you’re operating a vehicle.
We understand that the uncertainty of other drivers can make you nervous, but you should still take proper measures to arrive at your destination safely. Do you want to know more about car etiquette and safety precautions? Check out some of these other need-to-know tips and tricks in our blog.