How to Drive Safely with Young Kids in the Car

Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of car accidents in the United States.  And, while most people associate distracted driving with using a cell phone, eating, and fiddling with a sat nav, children can be just as – if not more – distracting than all of the above.  If you regularly drive with children in the car, keep reading for some tips on how to drive safely.

How to Drive Safely with Young Kids in the Car from North Carolina Lifestyle blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom
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1. Feed Them Before a Long Drive

If your children often tell you they’re hungry or thirsty while you’re in the car, it’s time to do something about it.  Either feed them before you get in the car or buckle them in and provide them with a juice box and a snack.  If you choose to do the latter, however, you might want to ensure you choose foods that aren’t messy.  No mom wants to be cleaning smushed up ice cream from the seats or dealing with spillage in the middle of the highway.

2. Seek Out Entertainment

Road trips can be boring for kids of all ages, and the longer the drive, the more likely they’ll get bored.  To counteract this, look for ways to keep them entertained while on the road.  If you’re lucky enough to have a vehicle that comes with a built-in DVD player, you’re all set.  Simply stick on a movie that will be enjoyed by all ages.  If not, don’t fret.  You can play in-car games like I-spy, supply them with books or an iPad, or you can purchase some travel games that can only be used in the car.  While this probably won’t eliminate all mentions of the B word, it should help cut them down a lot.

3. Take Regular Breaks

Following on from the above, it’s a good idea to stop the car and take breaks – especially on a long drive.  A break will give your children time to stand up and stretch their legs, use the bathroom, and work off a bit of energy.  Breaks will also enable you to grab a bite to eat and a drink, and do anything else you’ve been able to do while in the driver’s seat.

4. Set Strict Rules

If your kids are old enough to understand rules, one last thing you can do is to explain to them what is and isn’t acceptable in the car.  Explain to them how you want them to get your attention when you’re driving, and that you won’t listen to arguments, yelling, or crying.  You can also create a reward system so that they are praised and rewarded for doing as you ask.  Remember to lead by example, too.  Your kids won’t learn that distraction can be dangerous if you use your cell phone or yell in the car.

When you’re driving with kids in the car, their safety should be your highest priority.  Properly installed car seats can only do so much, so do make sure to eliminate as many distractions as possible.  You don’t want to end up as a statistic.

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