Being a parent is hard. You probably spend much of your time breaking up sibling squabbles, preparing meals and picking up dropped items. However, if you do these things while driving, you could be putting yourself and your children at risk of serious injuries.
Texting while driving may be getting all the attention when it comes to distracted driving prevention, but anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your mind of the task of driving is a distraction. Tending to children is an all too common distraction that parents often do not even realize they are doing.
Unfortunately, it can feel like it goes against your parenting instincts to not put your child’s needs first. However, safety should come first, and to help ensure you child’s safety, you must keep your full attention on driving.
Tips for preventing your children from becoming driving distractions
Every family has different tendencies, so you should consider what activities tempt you to multitask when driving. In general, many parents can benefit from the following tips:
- Feed your children and yourself before driving, instead of on the go.
- Avoid managing technology while driving. This includes DVD players, GPS devices, cell phones and even frequent music changes.
- Avoid picking up items that your children drop until the car is safely parked.
- Set rules for acceptable behavior in the car, and explain that unacceptable behaviors can be dangerous if they distract you as you are driving.
If your child’s needs cannot wait, find a safe place to pull over to tend to him or her. Remember, your ability to avoid distracted driving can help prevent dangerous situations for you and your family.