Everybody likes to think that they’re a great driver, but having a pack of excitable children in the back of the car or minivan is a challenge for even the most skilled drivers. It can be difficult to keep your focus on the road when you have your children in the car, no matter how hard you try to minimize any distractions. To stay calm and drive as safely as you can with your children in the car, follow these easy tips.
Leave Enough Space
Following too closely behind the car in front of you limits the amount of time that you have to react. Leave at least a gap of two seconds between you and the car in front, and you will be better able to notice hazards and keep your family safe. On the freeway, if you can read the number plate of the car in front of you, you’re too close. If someone hits you, you can get help from lawyers like Accidents Wreck Lives.
Play A Game
Keep the kids busy with games that encourage and reward being quiet without needing you to get involved. I Spy is a good option for kids of all ages, as it’s creative but doesn’t need any moving around or shouting.
Use A Screen
Games and movies on a smartphone or tablet will your children busy for ages. Remember to give them headphones. The sound effects or soundtracks can be just as distracting to the driver as the children themselves.
If you’re making a long trip, get organized first. Take snacks and drinks to avoid demands from the back seat.
Allow for plenty of stops. Find somewhere safe to stop where the kids can stretch their legs and let off steam, like a park.
If the children do squabble, ignore while you drive. Don’t turn around to get involved. Find somewhere to stop if you need to intervene.
Expect The Unexpected
Take a plastic bag (with no holes in it) in case of travel sickness. If you’re caught without it, you might have a lot of mess to deal with.
A second adult in the car to look after the children can be a big help and lets the driver concentrate on the road. If you have someone who can come with you, invite them along.
Talk To Your Kids
When your children are old enough to understand, have a talk with them about behavior in the car. Explain clearly that driving requires a lot of concentration, and that you need to drive safely. Set out some ground rules for the car, such as no yelling or no throwing. If the kids break these rules, make sure you enforce the consequences.
When your kids are misbehaving, it’s dangerous to get involved when you drive. If you need to intervene, pull over. Stop the car somewhere safe to park, and tell them that you will not carry on until the problem is sorted out. This might take some emotional energy at first, but once you’ve done it a few times, the children should learn to behave, as they will know you’re serious about stopping the car.