In a lot of ways, parents today are extremely lucky when they get behind the wheel of a car with children in tow. This is due, in large part, to the fact that there are so many gadgets and distractions available to keep your child/children busy as you drive. Not only do you now have the peace of mind to concentrate on the road before you, but you don’t have to be distracted by your children as much.
When possible, always try to travel with another adult. This is a great idea because it will free you up to fully focus on the road while the secondary adult keeps an eye on the children. Additionally, having another adult in the vehicle will help out if a child needs something or even if there is an emergency. I cannot tell you how many times I have been driving and seen a parent fully turned around in their vehicle to tend to their child’s needs…while they are driving! As a responsible adult and/or a responsible parent, it is up to us to make sure that our children’s lives are safe while we are traveling.
Prior to getting into a vehicle with children, make sure that the children are safely secured in their car seats and/or seat belts. If they are old enough, ask them if they need or want anything. Explain to them beforehand where you are going and how long you expect to be in the car. They may not remember this, but it is still a good idea to let them know anyway. Prior to even stepping foot in the vehicle, explain to slightly older children the safety rules of traveling in a car. You don’t want to scare a child, but let him or her know that there are certain dangerous things that can happen if they touch certain things or do certain things while an adult is driving. Let them know the proper way to address you if they have any needs while on the trip.
If your child doesn’t feel well or if there is a problem while you are driving, don’t panic. Simply pull your car off to the side of the road or exit the roadway in a calm manner. Remember that when you panic (especially if there are other children in the car), you only cause them to panic more, which creates distraction -something you do not want while driving. Traveling with children doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, it can be very enjoyable. Talk to your child while driving; communication is always a good idea. However, avoid using your cell phone or playing with the radio too much, etc. Having a child in the car is distraction enough, and you don’t want to add any more distractions into the mix. If there is another adult in the car, simply ask them every now and then to check on the kids to make sure that they are ok. You don’t want to ignore your children, but you don’t want them to be your sole focus while you are driving. Remember, your safe driving should be the main focus here!
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