Driving with the family to different places is always a fun experience. It’s a great bonding time for parents and their children during school breaks or even on weekends.
But this kind of activity has its risks the reason why parents need to put their family’s safety front and foremost every time they travel on the road. Too many car accidents have occurred involving families all over the world owing to negligence and you would not want to add to the already alarming statistics, would you?
Here are steps you can take to prepare for a safe road trip with your kids and ensure that you enjoy your bonding moments without causing injuries to yourselves.
Prepare Basic Provisions
Regardless of the climate and your destination, always ensure that you have the basic provisions. Water and non-perishable food are very important. If you’re traveling during winter, bring blankets to keep you warm as well as extra shirts if you’re driving during summer.
Toiletries and emergency medicine kits should not be forgotten as well.
Ensure The Locks Work
Parents must also teach their kids the habit of locking car doors to prevent accidents and protect them from carjackings. Unlocked doors can cause things and even kids falling from the vehicle. A kid may also open the door out of curiosity and wander around while your vehicle is parked temporarily in an area. In addition, people with criminal intent can easily open them and do harm to your family.
Put Kids in the Backseat
Kids should be seated in the back with seat belts as the front seats are more dangerous for them even with the presence of airbags. When they’re in the backseat, they can be protected in case of car accidents. Research done by the Partners for Child Passenger Safety showed that children are 40 percent less likely to be seriously injured when they are properly restrained in the backseat.
Authorities in the U.S. such as the SafeCar.gov, American Academy of Pediatrics and Nationwide Children’s Hospital note that children should remain in the backseat until they are 13 years old.
Check Car Mechanism
Before you leave your home, do make it a habit to check the condition of your vehicle from the inside to the exterior. If possible, have it checked by a mechanic to make sure it is in sound condition. Important areas of the car that need to be checked are its engine, oil and other fluids, tires, brakes, alignment, lights, air filter and the antifreeze/coolant.
Regular maintenance of your car is also a must.
Once everything is ready, the next most important step to take while you’re on the road is to drive safely. Driving safely means focusing on the road, not texting or using the cell phone, putting the radio’s volume at the right level, not following cars too closely, monitoring your speed and not changing lanes frequently.