Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe on the Road
As a dad, you might feel like you're a part-time taxi driver, shuttling the kids from place to place. It's easy to feel rushed when there's place to be and things to do, but taking a few extra seconds for safety precautions could save your kids' lives. The safety tips below should be followed 100% of the time. (Make clear to your teen drivers that they need to follow these rules too if they want to keep their keys).
6 Important Car Safety Tips
- Safety Tip #1: Seat belts are mandatory: Every person in the car needs to be buckled up at all times. Don't put the car in gear until every belt is clicked. Enough said.
- Safety Tip #2: Cell phone use is a no-no: Set a good example for your kids with a strict policy of no cell phone use when the car is not in park. No phone calls and no checking or sending texts. Give your kids permission to hold you accountable to this policy. If you must make and receive calls while driving, get a hands-free bluetooth accessory.
- Safety Tip #3: Make adjustments or handle discipline when the car is in park: Tune your radio and program your GPS before pulling out of the driveway. If you need to reprimand your children for misbehaving, "don't make me reach back there" is not a safe way to do so. Pull the car over in a safe place like a parking lot and address the problem there. Don't try to do these things while driving.
- Safety Tip #4: Leave a few minutes early so you're not rushing: Plan ahead to get the kids ready and leave at least five minutes earlier than necessary. If you're stressed because you're running late, you'll be tempted to speed.
- Safety Tip #5: Be safe outside the car too: Teach your kids to look both ways before crossing the street and to be alert for cars pulling out or turning in parking lots. The principle in both situations is to assume that drivers cannot see pedestrians and to exercise caution. Check around your car before you get in for small children, misplaced bikes or toys, or stray shopping carts.
- Safety Tip #6: Obey traffic laws: We know it's hard to temper that lead foot, but your kids are watching you and will imitate your driving habits when they're behind the wheel. Don't floor it to get through that yellow light, make sure you come to a complete stop at stop signs, and use your turn signal. It's easy to get lazy about these things, but it's the law and you could literally save lives.