Five Ways to Make Sure You’re the Safest Driver for Your Family
Being a safe driver is always important, but that responsibility takes on even more important once you’ve added a few members to your family. If you’re in an accident, you no longer only have to worry about yourself—you have to worry about the little ones in the back seat too.
The good news is, there are plenty of things you can do if you want to keep everyone as safe as possible while you’re behind the wheel.
Review the Rules of the Road
How long has it been since you have taken the written driver’s test? Chances are, it has been quite a long time! It’s easy to forget important things about the road over the years, even if you get in the car every single day.
For example, do you know who gets to go first if you and another driver stop at a stop sign at exactly the same time? Do you know the right way to park your car on a hill? What about road signs?
There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you’re a little rusty! Just go online and brush up on the rules of the road. Not only is it a great way to review information you may have forgotten, but it’s also a good way to learn about new signs and traffic laws that have gone into effect since you were a student driver.
Never Drive Distracted
If you have little ones in the car, and even if you don’t, you should never drive distracted. That includes not answering your phone or texting while you’re driving, but distracted driving includes a lot more than just using your cell phone.
Distracted driving includes anything that takes your attention or focus off the road. Just a few other examples include:
- Doing your hair or makeup
- Reaching for something on the floor
- Interacting with controls on the dash board
It also includes driving tired. If you’re too tired to focus on the road, you’re too tired to drive a car. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep if you’re driving the next day. If you don’t, it’s safer to ask someone else to take everyone where they need to go.
Get the Kids Ready Before You Start Driving
There are a lot of distractions in the car, but one of the biggest is the very thing you’re trying to protect—your children! It’s easy for kids to get bored in the backseat, which could result in whining and arguing that will take your attention off the road.
Make sure your kids are set up and ready to go in the back seat before you hit the road. That includes getting a movie started on a tablet, making sure they have a snack, and making sure they have something to drink.
If you’re going to be in the car for a long time, consider getting some road trip activities ready to go. Ideas might include audio books, having a sing-along, or bringing new toys for them to play with during the trip.
Go Over Safety Tips With Your Family
There’s a lot you should do as the driver to keep everyone in the car safe, but there are things your passengers can do too. It’s a good idea to go over passenger safety tips with your family regularly.
A few rules for the kids in the back seat include always wearing a seatbelt and staying calm while an adult is driving. You might also want to go over rules about throwing things or fighting with siblings. Discussing the consequences if they don’t follow the rules is a good idea too.
Always Leave a Little Early
It isn’t uncommon for people to speed. However, it’s dangerous. Speeding was a contributing factor of over a quarter of all traffic fatalities in 2017.
Parents are some of the biggest speeders because getting somewhere on time with kids is almost impossible. Stop speeding and start leaving a little early instead. You can greatly reduce your chances of experiencing a deadly accident when you go the speed limit.
Having a hard time leaving early? Start getting ready earlier, even if it means setting your alarm and waking everyone up before they’re ready.
Driving is the most dangerous thing you do every day. Fortunately, you can make the time you spend on the road with your family a lot safer when you follow all of the tips on this list.