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As a mom, one of our unwritten job requirements is that you spend huge amounts of time in your car transporting children, pets, sports teams, and groceries all over town.
My husband looks at my car with a small amount of disdain…there are dog nose prints on the windows, raisins in the cracks of the seats, and an assortment of absolutely essential STUFF tucked into every available space.
His car, of course, is pristine and NO you may NOT take your snack in it on the way to the store!
How to Drive Safely with Kids
In order to maintain my sanity, my children’s safety, and even a tiny bit of organization I have learned a few road trip safety tips over the years that I thought I would share with you. Here are a few of my mom inspired driving tips!
1. Keep your car in tip-top shape:
There is nothing that spells trouble faster than bald tires! There is an owner’s manual for a reason and it will tell you exactly when you should have certain services done. Keep your records in a convenient place and update them regularly!
We have a Microsoft Word document for each vehicle and it lists the mileage and date of each oil change, tire rotation, etc. Your family’s safety depends on the safety of your car! Find a good mechanic and visit them often!
2. Keep your car organized:
Nothing spells trouble like a toy sliding under your brake pedal so keep the interior of your car as neat as possible. Invest in over the seat, hanging bags to store books, toys, crayons, etc.
When you get out of the car, grab one thing that shouldn’t be in there….whether it is a fast-food soda cup or a book you picked up at the library. Clutter is not your friend in the car!
3. Keep kids occupied:
When my kids were younger they were always happy to go for a ride in the car because of the awesome bin of toys I kept right between them.
I would swap things out every couple of weeks and throw in new finds from the thrift store or garage sale. An hour-long ride would zip right by when there was a new My Little Pony to play with or a book to read!
4. Keep noise distractions minimal:
I know I am probably going to get a lot of slack for this one but I HATE those TVs people have in their cars nowadays! I don’t know how anyone can pay attention to their driving when there are cartoons playing in the background! If you DO have a TV, keep the volume down!
The same goes for the radio. You cannot hear cars honking or emergency vehicles’ siren’s if you have Katie Perry blaring in your ears! And never, ever, EVER drive with your iPod earbuds in!
5. Have things in easy reach:
Accidents happen while driving and not just on the road. Kids spill juice boxes, sneeze and get snot all over themselves, demand snacks, etc. Have a box of tissues or some napkins within easy reach. When you get in the car, make sure you have a snack and sippy ready to hand to a cranky toddler as soon as possible without digging around in the diaper bag.
While getting to the doctor’s appointment on time or finding your way to your destination without getting lost are both very important, staying SAFE in the car should be everyone’s number one priority. And, if you can stay safe, retain your sanity, AND get to the doctor’s appointment on time then you ROCK as a mom!
With a little advanced planning and preparation, you can make sure that your next car trip is a joy…even if you are driving a minivan and not a Ferrari!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.