When traveling with your kids, your first priority is keeping them safe. You’ve probably already taken some precautions like teaching them road rules and how important it is to wear a seatbelt, but there’s a lot more you can do to ensure your children’s protection in a car. Here are eight ideas for maximizing the safety of your family on the road.
Clean Your Car and Perform Routine Maintenance
Accidents happen, but there are ways to stay safe even in a collision. Secure all loose objects inside your car like toys or tissue boxes, which can turn into dangerous projectiles if you have to slam on the brakes. You also need to take your car to a mechanic for routine maintenance checks to make sure that the engine and all its moving parts stay in top working condition.
Use the Best Car Seat
You probably already know that your toddler needs to sit in a special car seat, but there are actually different seats recommended for children of all ages. Do a little research and install the proper seat in your car for your young child.
Create a Plan of Action
Safety drills are vital to a family’s well-being, even while on a road trip. Create a good action plan with your family so every member will know exactly what to do during various emergencies like inclement weather or a tire blowout.
Update Your Insurance
One of the best ways to ensure someone’s safety is to get insured. Do not let your kids ride in a car if the driver does not have insurance. If it’s time you updated yours, check out different outlets for the best plans and rates. The last thing anyone wants to deal with after an accident is a huge stack of bills from the other party, doctors, and mechanics. Making sure that you and all other driver in the family are covered is a must for every family.
Keep the Kids Entertained
Kids get bored easily, especially on long car rides, and their frustration can really take a toll on the driver’s focus. Bring along entertainment, like portable DVD players, to keep them happy. You can also invent fun sightseeing games or have them keep track of various license plate states.
Don’t Leave Your Kids Alone
Even at a rest stop, you still have to pay attention to the safety of your kids. Stay close by them at all times, or be sure that they’re with someone you trust. If you absolutely have to leave your kids by themselves for a moment, keep the car locked and the air on.
Inform Your Kids
In the event you get separated from your child, they need to know their vital information. Give your kid an identification card with both their name and yours and any contact info another adult can use to help them. If your kid is too little to keep track of an ID on their own, you can sew a card on the inside of their jacket for top security.
Buy a Better Car
Your car itself might pose a danger to your family because of outdated technology. A newer, safer vehicle is a great investment in the long run and can easily help you protect your loved ones on the road.
Auto accidents are a leading cause of death in children, but you don’t have to avoid car trips altogether. Just take plenty of precautions and enjoy yourself as you go for a drive with your family.
Joe Fortunato is a freelance writer from Tampa, Florida. He enjoys learning about new subjects, following his Baltimore Orioles, and traveling the country for fishing. He is a regular contributor to homeinsurance.com as well as many other home and safety sites.