There’s no escaping taking your children out in the car if you want to get from A to B. It isn’t such a problem when they are very young, and will happily stay asleep in their car seat, but once they get older and start crying at the thought of being strapped in, or begin complaining that they are bored the moment you put the key in the ignition, they can become something of a distraction.
Even on a relatively short journey, planning ahead can make a difference for both you and your children.
Make your car somewhere your children will be relaxed and comfortable by putting up window shades, playing a CD with their favourite songs or audiobooks and having their favourite snacks available.
On longer trips, know where the rest stops are, so you can plan in meal and loo stops where children can also run around and stretch their legs. Babies also need to have a break from the restraint of their car seat to keep those quibbles at bay.
Never take your eyes off the road
However tempting it may be, you shouldn’t take your eyes off the road in order to check on a crying child. ‘Failed to look properly’ is the leading contributory factor in collisions in Great Britain, and you only need to look away for a split second to miss a hazard up ahead. If, for example, a car was to pull out in front of you from a side road, the additional time it would take to spot it can be the difference between you managing to avoid a collision or not.
Keep them entertained
While most people will agree that too much screen time isn’t good for children, letting them watch a film or play a game on a tablet can make a long car journey seem to go much quicker for both of you. For babies and younger children, choose toys that can be safely attached to their car seat, as anything else is likely to end up on the floor, leading to further tears and tantrums.
Share driving and entertainment
If you are driving with another adult then share driving and entertainment duties so one adult can concentrate on the road ahead while the other helps with snack and toy distribution, entertainment and storytelling. If you have enough space then having an adult sitting in the back with the kids can make things easier.
Travelling with kids can be stressful and even the best-laid plans can be disrupted by roadworks, traffic jams or unplanned loo stops so give yourself ample time to allow for all the possibilities.
And remember to plan the trip home as much as you planned the trip out.
Responsible parents following this advice will hopefully never find themselves in the position of being involved in a collision, nevertheless, insurance is a legal requirement and at Go Girl we offer great value car insurance for women drivers so get a quote from us today.