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Driving with your child – safety tips to keep in mind

I recently got myself a car and I haven’t driven in about four years or so. I am also a mother of a very active three-year-old. In a nutshell, driving with my three-year-old in the car is extremely stressful! She doesn’t sit still and she is constantly distracting me. This, at a time, when I am already stressed about battling traffic and trying not to lose my head or my driver’s license!

Driving – up the wall or on the road?

Ever since I started driving again, I’ve discovered the true meaning of the phrase – “driving up the wall”. As it is I have to be extremely careful I don’t crash into the vehicle in front of me. I also have to deal with questions such as, “Why don’t you look at me when I’m talking?”

The one time I responded to that question with a very frustrated, “Should I look at the road or at you?”, I received the response – “But…I want you to look at me.”

If that wasn’t enough, I have to listen to song requests. And once the request is made, there is no waiting time. The song has to be played immediately! God forbid I ignore the demands! I then have to deal with a whining child in the back seat.

Safety tips while driving

Jokes apart, driving with a three-year-old has given me more confidence and made me appreciate other drivers even more. These are a few tips that I diligently follow while driving around with my child.

  • Always ensure the child is seated in the back seat and is buckled in! This ensures the child’s safety and keeps them physically restrained. If your child is below the age of 2 years, please invest in a car seat and keep your child buckled in that. At no point, should children be allowed in the front seat with or without supervision. 
  • Never, ever use your mobile phone while driving. Whether you are using hands-free or your phone is on speaker. Using your phone distracts you and distractions can lead to accidents.
  • Keep your distance from the vehicle in front. It is okay if two-wheelers or even three-wheelers squeeze in between your car and the vehicle in front. Give them their space and you won’t regret it.
  •  This is a reasonably well known and logical tip. Do NOT drink and drive. Kindly remember that you are responsible for more than one life, including yours.
  • Plan your trip in advance, including the route you will take and possible traffic snags. Leave early if necessary. But whatever you do, drive slowly. Even if you are late.
  • As much as possible, use your side mirrors and your rearview mirrors. And remember, objects in the mirror appear closer than they actually are.
  • Keep your cool. Don’t get into fights with other drivers.
  • If you are tired, don’t drive. Use public transport. You might save more than one life.

Follow these tips as much as you can and you’re good to go! Yes, you will have the occasional outburst if you go left when your underage navigator is shouting “go right, go right”, from behind. But these are things that are still in your control. Happy and safe driving, parents!

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