Men and women can both be crazy drivers, but when you become a parent it’s time to throw that craziness out the window and let it fall at the side of the road. Now that you’re a dad it’s time to pull out all the stops to protect the little kiddos in the back seat that are depending on you to keep them out of harm's way, so do a few things to make your driving a little safer.
1. Stop texting. Start talking.
It’s true—sometimes you really need to let someone know that you’re going to be late because it took too long to get the kids in the car. Send the text before you back out of the driveway or pull out the Bluetooth and make a hands-free call to give them the scoop, but keep your eyes on the road instead of on the phone when you’re moving to help avoid an accident.
2. Pass out snacks before the trip.
If you plan on being in the car for awhile, put together snack bags with car-friendly munchies like fruit snacks or those 100-calorie snack bags. Avoid foods that can stain the car or snacks that need spoons to eat them. Include water bottles or spill-proof cups of light-colored sugar free drinks so they won’t cause a crisis in the back seat. Even if water spills, it’s just water. Add some napkins to the snack backs and hand the bags to the kids before you hit the road so you won’t be passing them to the back seat while you are driving.
3. Obey the laws.
Use your turn signal and stay within a few miles per hour of the posted speed limit. It might be difficult to develop good driving habits if you are used to the carefree driving life of driving with one hand or dodging in and out of traffic lanes, but drive how you would want your kids to drive when they get older. They are watching and learning from you every day.
4. Cut the road rage.
Don’t let your kids see you lose your temper. Just because someone cuts you off in traffic doesn’t mean you need to drive on their bumper for the next five miles. Yes, it might show the person ahead of you that you’re mad if they are paying any attention to you at all, but it can scare your kids too. You don’t want them to feel like you’re putting them in danger, do you?
5. Be protective.
Dads are supposed to be the strong protective person in their kids’ lives. Follow that role in the car and become a defensive driver to defend your kids from all of the other crazy drivers out there. One way is to leave space between your car and the one in front of you. If that person slams on their brakes and you’re too close, you and your kids will be in for an accident.
Following these few simple suggesting can keep your kids safe and snug in the back seat, oblivious to the dangerous world of driving around them. There is plenty of time to introduce them to scary driving when they are teenagers.
Guest author Patricia White is a freelance blogger and is writing on behalf of www.carinsurance.org.uk.