Travelling with kids can be a rewarding experience for both them and the caregivers, but extra measures should be taken to prevent whatever bickering or fighting in the passenger seats from affecting safe driving.
Children playing in the car or sitting in a wrong position may lead to dire consequence in time of abrupt brake. To protect your family and ensure that everybody has a fun trip, here are simple tips to take to drive safely with kids in car.
1. Leave them in the back seat
The best place for children in a car is either the back seat or the middle seat. These locations are optimal for kids because they are the furthest away from doors and windows which they may crash into in case of an abrupt stop or an accident. The airbag that is usually equipped for the front seats is very dangerous and can cause severe head injuries to children, especially those under 13. Also, the restless children when sitting in the back seat are far from all the dashboard buttons which they may find “interesting” and play with.
2. Use baby seat
The seat belt is a standard vehicle safety device in any car, but most seat belts are not designed for children and may even cause serious injuries to young passengers. Therefore, it is advisable that the family uses the baby seat for child passenger under the age of 14. Child seat usually uses a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) attachment system. Lower anchors are used instead of the seat belt to install the seat and the top tether improves the safety of the kids. These child seats protect the kids only when proper installation are carried out.
How to install child seat properly
3. Child lock and window lock
To protect kids and the whole family during a ride, many cars have integrated child lock (or child protector) in the rear door. Child lock is a small switch on the edge of the rear door that can be activated or deactivated only when the door is open. After the lock is activated, the door cannot be opened from the inside, which prevents the kids from playing with the door and accidentally bust open the car door while the car is running. Meanwhile, window lock when turned on gives the driver full control on which windows are opened and closed. Even when the locks are activated, adults still need to make sure that the doors are properly closed and that the kids are not left in the car for too long.
Child lock prevents kids from accidentally opening the door from the inside
4. Create rules
Parents need to create rules for when travelling in the car with children, especially with small ones. Adults in the family should take turn supervising the kids and prevent any distractions like fighting, crying, or shouting from happening. The kids are to be reminded to fasten their restraints or seat belts before you go and forbidden from sticking their hand or head out the car window. Those rules are meant to create discipline and order in the car, keeping the driver relaxed and sane during the trip and thereby enabling him or her to focus on driving.
Kids fighting in the car can be a source of distraction to the driver
5. Make the ride fun and comfy
Making a kid sit in silence for a prolonged period of time is not far from torturing them. On the other hand, their naughty and restless acts can annoy and distract you while driving. Therefore, it is suggested that you prepare their favourite books or toys to keep them nice and quiet on the road. Some snacks or drinks are also very important to create a comfortable ride for them. When kids are busy playing with their favorite things and all their needs are met, the ride is easy for everyone.
Create a fun ride for kids so you can have fun too
How to drive with infant in car
7 Long Road Driving Tips For New Drivers