As a parent, it’s your responsibility to keep your kids safe. And while you might stop other habits that could potentially put your kids in danger, like smoking, many parents don’t realize that their driving habits could also be harmful to their little ones.
Whether you have issues with road rage, distracted driving, or have just been in one too many accidents, there are things you can do to help minimize the risks you take when you’re behind the wheel, especially when you have your kids in tow.
To show you how this can be done, here are three tips for being a safer driver when your kids are in the car with you.
Don’t Allow Yourself To Lose Focus
There are plenty of things in your life and in the car that can distract you from the task at hand. But when you add into this equation having your little ones in the car with you and the distractions they bring along, it can be easy to lose focus on what you should be doing.
However, as soon as you take your focus off the road, you increase your chances of getting in a car accident and potentially harming your kids. To combat this, Kurt E. Gray, a contributor to KidsHealth.org, recommends that you do everything in your power to maintain your focus when behind the wheel. This means putting down your phone, teaching your kids to remain calm and quiet in the car, and not participating in any extra tasks when you’re driving.
Stress The Importance Of Seat Belts
We’ve all heard the statistics about how wearing a seat belt in the car can help to save lives. Because this habit is so important, you’ve got to be an example of always wearing your own seat belt when you get in the car.
Not only this important for you, but it’s also vital to your children. When your kids are young, make sure they’re in car seats that are right for their size and that are situated correctly on their bodies. And because so many young teens choose not to wear a seat belt—around 70 percent of those who were in fatal car accidents, according to Ed Grabianowski, a contributor to HowStuffWorks.com—it’s crucial that you make wearing seat belts a habit from the start and something that everyone in your family does.
Stick To The Speed Limit
Another thing you might be doing to put your kids in more danger when you’re driving them around is speeding.
For many people, speeding is either something they do out of habit or something they do out of apparent necessity. But according to Eric Ravenscroft, a contributor to LifeHacker.com, speeding, especially during city driving, won’t actually be any faster. So rather than putting yourself and your family as risk of physical danger or trouble with the law, just stick to the speed limit from now on.
To help you be a safer parent and better role model for your kids, consider using the tips mentioned above to keep your little ones safe when you’re driving them in the car.