Young children can be a dangerous distraction in the car. According to Parents.com, new parents that are getting used to driving with a little one in the backseat are considered as dangerous as teen drivers. In fact, 10% of new moms get into an accident with their baby in the car because they take their eyes off the road to check activity in the backseat.
Car accidents are not only dangerous, they can cause expensive damage that must be repaired by a professional auto body mechanic. Whether your children are teenagers or still in car seats, use these tips to minimize distractions in the car so you can get to your destinations safely.
Create Car Rules
Car rules should be established for each child in the vehicle. Rules should be specific and related to issues you have with your children while driving. Rules to consider include:
- No yelling in the car
- No unbuckling or sharing seat belts
- No throwing food or toys
- No loud devices
Ensure all seat belts are buckled before starting the car. Provide headphones for children who want to listen to music or watch movies to limit noise distractions while driving. Post your car rules behind the driver's seat so your children can have visual reminders of how they are supposed to act in the car.
If a child doesn't follow the rules, first pull the car over at the nearest safe exit and then deal with the issue when the car is not in motion.
One of the biggest reasons that children distract you while driving is because they are bored. Make entertainment bags filled with coloring books, crayons, stickers, blank paper, and other quiet toys that you can store in the pockets behind the front seats.
Provide all snacks and beverages to children prior to starting your car so you don't have to turn around in your seat to open fruit snacks or hand out treats. Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds to help your child can lead to a serious accident.
Minimize Driving Risks
Younger children, in particular, don't understand that distracting a parent while driving is dangerous. Keep small children from being a driving risk by removing their shoes until you've reached your destination so they cannot take them off and throw them.
You could also provide entertainment via a portable DVD player that attaches to the back of your seat so children can be entertained without having toys or other objects to throw.
Create a seating arrangement that suits the personalities of your children best. Place children who get along well next to one another. Follow the same seating arrangement every time you drive so that your children don't fight over who gets to sit next to the window or who has to sit in the middle seat.
Unless you have to, don't place children in the front seat. Children under 12 should always sit in the back. If your children are older, you can use the front seat as a reward for the most-behaved child. This reward may encourage distraction-free behavior from everyone else.
Don't Invite Distractions
You encourage your children to distract you in the car if you respond to every noise or movement they make. Tell your children when you first start the car that you will be driving so your children should try to entertain themselves with snacks or toys.
Train yourself to stay focused on the road and don't use your rearview mirror to just check on your children. If you have to handle a situation, however minor, pull over to do so.
Even a minor accident due to distracted driving leads to the need for professional repairs. For all your car repair needs, call us at AutoWorld Collision Center Incorporated today.