Driving Kids To Classes? You Need To Review These Safe Driving Tips
Having kids involved in activities like dance means lots of driving to and from classes, rehearsals, and performances. While cars may be safer nowadays than they’ve ever been in the past, there’s still some risk involved every time you get behind the wheel, and having a car full of kids means you’re carrying an added responsibility to be as safe and careful as possible. Even experienced drivers can get lax in their habits and take defensive driving for granted. When life takes you from solo driving in your first car to carpooling the kids in dance class in your family wagon, it’s time to take stock of the safe driving tips you learned years ago and make sure you’re practicing the safest driving habits you can when you’re driving young people around.
Make Sure Everybody is Buckled In
Don’t just assume everybody has their seatbelts buckled when you hit the road. Despite the fact that wearing a seatbelt is the law, some people still “forget” to use theirs. Always look to make sure all your passengers are buckled up, especially younger children. If a seat includes a shoulder belt, the shoulder belt must be used, and very young children need to be safely secured in age and size appropriate car seats.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Of course you know the number one rule when it comes to distracted driving is to never use your phone while you’re operating a vehicle. This is doubly important when you’ve got kids in the car, not only for their safety, but to set a good example. Aside from this most obvious distraction, remember that eating, putting on makeup, and even talking to other people in the car can take your attention away from the road and lead to a dangerous distracted driving situation.
The more kids you pack into a car, the more they’re going to be talking, making noise, moving around, and otherwise creating potential distractions. Realistically, kids will be kids and there’s only so much you can do to keep them quiet and still, but making it clear that as the driver, you expect everybody to behave respectfully and with self-control can make a positive difference.
Secure the Cabin
Believe it or not, everyday objects can become highly dangerous in the event of a crash or sudden stop. Anything loose and heavy inside the car can turn into a deadly projectile if the car comes to an abrupt stop while traveling at a high rate of speed, so make sure that heavy things are safely secured under seats, in compartments, or in the trunk of the car.
Be a Defensive Driver
One of the most important things you can do to ensure a safe trip for yourself and your passengers is to internalize the concept of defensive driving and practice it as best you can. Defensive driving means being observant of the cars around you and any potential road hazards, anticipating possible dangerous situations before you’re in the middle of them, and being courteous to other drivers—never driving aggressively, cutting people off, speeding, or otherwise disregarding common sense and traffic laws.