Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, or a loving aunt or uncle; driving with children in the car is a big responsibility. You know that every time you buckle them up and climb into the driver’s seat. You know that every time a car speeds by you or you miss a turn because you’re too busy being safe in a hectic traffic situation.
We all know that keeping your family safe on the road is the most important thing, more important even than making it to your destination on time. But you can do it all with planning, skill, and the right technological back-up. So today, we’re diving into the top six driving tips to make sure that your family is safe and secure on the road from the moment you buckle up to arrival at your destination.
1) Get Your Vehicle Checked Out
First things first: Make sure your vehicle is in excellent condition with a full inspection and tune-up. The last thing you want is a lingering-yet-silent car problem to put your family at risk on the highway. So get your vehicle checked out from top to bottom Have the belts, brakes, and wipers inspected. Get the oil changed. Ask the mechanic for any advice they have on making sure your car isn’t just safe to commute in, but also safe to drive your children or nieces and nephews around in as well. From there, be sure to check in every 6 months for oil changes, tire rotation, and other regular maintenance.
2) Install Hands-Free Mode On Your Smartphone
Next, make sure you never-ever drive distracted. Whether you use your car’s built-in computer or mount your smartphone on the dash, poking at apps is a good way to completely miss a side-swipe coming. Install Android Auto or, if you’re an iOS user, CarPlay. These two apps both lock your in-vehicle devices into hands-free mode any time the vehicle is on the road. They can also both be used with your phone or from a car’s onboard screen, turning your whole vehicle into a safely smart computerized experience.
3) Drive Safely and Defensively
Brush up on your defensive driving skills when preparing to play chauffeur for the family. Remember to check your mirrors, guard your sides, and turn cautiously. But most importantly, don’t trust what other drivers are doing even if they do use their signals. You never know when someone else is distracted, impatient, or even drunk behind the wheel. Only move your car where you’re sure it’s safe to be, keep a safe distance from other drivers, and be prepared to brake or dodge at any moment. Just in case.
4) Don’t Get Distracted On the Road
Be very careful about what not to do. Children in the car can be uniquely distracting both when they are happily chatting with you or unhappily fidgeting or disagreeing with each other. Remember that your first duty is to drive the family safely, not to fish dropped sippy cups off the floor. If the inside of the car gets too hectic, pull over to solve problems so that you can focus on driving while the car is in motion.
5) Teach Your Kids Safe Driving Through Modeling and Conversation
It’s never to early to teach children good driving practices. You can teach by modeling behavior, but children will learn even better if you talk through your process. Say things like “I’m looking both ways before I turn to make sure another car isn’t coming through” and “I’m slowing down because the cars in front of me are slowing down. After all, I can’t go through them”. This narrative of good driving thoughts will stick with your children for years and form a safe driving foundation for when they are finally old enough to try their hand behind the wheel for the first time.
6) Always Know Where You’re Going to Park
It’s one thing to follow a navigation app’s directions to your destination. But in some locations, parking is a completely different story. Tired kids and heavy traffic are not the ideal situations to cruise nearby blocks or packed parking garages for an open spot. Your probably also want to ensure that you can find a spot in a safe location close to your destination, especially traveling with small children.
With ParqEx, you can review open parking spots and even reserve yourself a parking spot so you know exactly where your vehicle will be stopping at the end of a trip with your children. You can find your spot quickly, turn off the vehicle, and catch a breath before packing everyone off to lessons or the hotel or whatever you came to do as a family.
Whether you’re traveling with kids for appointments and special outings or long roadtrips, ParqEx can assure you a parking space at your destination. Contact us today to learn more about our parking reservation app and how it can help keep your children and family safe.