TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2019
When traveling with kids, your often find driving cheaper than paying for flights. However, long hours in the car present their fair share of risks. So, if you are planning a road trip in the coming months, you should start planning now. Let's consider some of the most-critical safety procedures you should observe, both on the road and before.
Preparing for a road trip presents few inconveniences if you don't wait until the last minute. Simply put, the costs will often prove much lower than anything resulting from a mishap on the road.
Get Your Car Ready for Travel
A well-functioning vehicle is one of the best safeguards against a traffic accident. And, should something happen, a strong vehicle might protect any of those caught in the wreck. Therefore, always make sure your vehicle is in prime working order before you hit the road.
You should generally start this preparation a few weeks ahead of time.
- Ensure your car insurance and registration will remain active for the duration of the trip. Pay all your insurance premiums before travel. Keep your insurance cards and registration information in your vehicle.
- Always carry your driver's license. Don't attempt to drive if you have restrictions or suspensions on your privileges.
- Take your car for a comprehensive maintenance and safety check. During this service, your mechanic might: change the oil, clean the engine, run a lighting check, rotate and fill your tires, check your suspension and more.
- If you need to replace any parts or buy new components to the vehicle, then do so before the trip. Saying I'll wait until we get home might put you at a safety risk while traveling.
- Consider adding some extra security features to the car. For example, steering wheel bars might help you add extra protection on top of your normal security alarms. Always keep the system armed whenever you stop.
Put Passenger Security First
Once you have the car ready, think about how you will need to protect your children while inside. Travel poses just as many, if not more, safety risks to children. For example, the force of an accident might cause their small bodies more harm than an adult's. Therefore, observe strict safety precautions at all times.
- Never place a small child in the front seat. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend an age at which a child can begin riding up front. Some states set their own limits as well. Furthermore, physicians groups and safety watchdogs have their own recommendations. In most cases, children under the age of 13 (and under certain weights or heights) cannot ride up front.
- Most states also enforce laws about what safety seats and devices children need. Depending on your child's age, weight and height, they might need a booster seat, car seat or rear-facing seat. Seat belts remain mandatory in all situations. Follow the instructions on how to install these devices. Doing so correctly will protect the child from impact threats. Proper installation might also protect them from injury risks, like potential suffocation threats, stemming from safety seats themselves.
- Never take your children out of their respective car seats while driving.
- Never let a child who doesn't have a license drive the car.
- You can often place a variety of other safety gear around your child. For example, a rear-facing mirror might help you keep a closer eye on the child. You might even be able to teach the child to use bells or alarms to tell you if something is wrong.
- When exiting the vehicle, always take the child with you. Never leave a child in the vehicle unattended. Abduction risks, not to mention hot car death threats, might arise.
- Keep a few emergency provisions in the vehicle. These might include diapers, non-perishable food or a First Aid kit. In case of messy inconveniences, you'll have a few resources at hand.
Remember Safety on the Road
Regardless of how many safety precautions you take with your children and vehicles, your own actions might make the biggest difference. If you do not drive safely, then your risks of an accident, and thus harm to those you hold dear, might skyrocket.
When you set out on your trip, remember that you have precious cargo, your child, in hand.
Along with other safety precautions, your commitment to safe driving will keep you and your family secure during your road trips.
- Never speed. Obey all traffic warning signs and don't make sudden maneuvers on the road.
- Make sure everyone always wears their seat belts.
- Do not use your cell phone or mobile device while traveling. Distracted driving is among the biggest causes of vehicle accidents in the U.S.
- Take breaks regularly. If you feel tired, hungry or unwell, then you cannot concentrate on the road. Stop at regular intervals. Eat normally and appropriately and sleep an appropriate amount of time.
- Of course, never consume alcohol or illicit substances at any time if you plan to drive.
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