Summer Safety: Driving with Your Children

Summer is here for pupils in the Nashville school system. Starting June 1st, it’s a good bet that many parents will find that they are driving their kids around more than usual. What does this mean for road safety? A recent study by Monash University analyzed data on distracted driving and found that having children in the car is 12 times more distracting than using a hands-free cell phone while driving.

Distracted drivers are at a much higher risk of having accidents. The NHTSA found that in 2012 over 3,300 motorists were killed in distracted driving episodes involving cell phones. Distracted driving with kids in the car seems to be comparable in risk to texting while driving.

If you are easily distracted by your cell phone, you can set it on silent while driving, but the same is not true for your kids! The Monash safety study indicated that distraction occurred during a startling 90% of trips, with drivers taking their eyes off the road to deal with their children almost 25% of the time they were in their car.

If your typical car ride with your children includes handing the kids snacks, drinks, and toys, it’s time to think again. On brief errands, the kids should be able to make it to your destination or back home without heavy-duty food supplies and maintenance!

Sugary treats quiet kids only for a short time — while they are eating them and then they make the kids jumpy and less likely to behave, as you can see in this short video:

If your kids demand attention, you can explain that letting you concentrate on the road is just as important as wearing their seatbelt! With toddlers and infants, it’s a question of patience, or pulling over to a safe stop. If you want to check them in your rear view mirror, do so only at a stop, not when you are moving.

We all know that you have to watch out for kids playing in the streets in summer, but it’s just as important to drive safely when they are in the car. That includes buckling everyone securely in an age-appropriate car seat or seat belt.

Remember, even if you don’t have children, and especially if you do, you must keep your eyes on the road at all times, and drive defensively.

For more info…

Call Jay Stillman at 1-800-967-2246 or e mail at jay@jstillman.com

 

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