Driving with multiple toddlers in the backseat can make for some hectic and stressful commuting experiences. Even if you only have one toddler back there, that’s all it takes for there to be a considerable number of potential distractions, hazards, and inconveniences that only affect parent drivers. While you might think that you just need to “focus on the road,” and you certainly do, there are some other some tips and strategies you should be aware of to keep you and your family safe while driving. With that said, here are four safe driving tips every mom with toddlers should practice:
1. Become a Car Seat Expert
If anyone should be an expert in car seat usage and safety guidelines, it should be us as the parents and consumers who actually use these devices to protect our children. It’s important to thoroughly read your car seat’s manual to ensure proper installation and use. Likewise, you should also look up your state’s laws on car seat safety to make sure you’re not doing anything illegal in terms of the direction that the seat is facing in and other specifics.
2. Briefly Check On Kids Using Your Rear View Mirrors
The center in-cabin rearview mirror is useful for checking on your kids without having to turn around, but it should only be used in brief glances and sparingly to prevent extended distractions from the road. Nonetheless, this component is an asset for every parent with toddlers because it can help you make sure they’re not doing anything crazy like unbuckling themselves, trying to throw items out of the window, bullying their siblings, or any number of other parenting issues that could present the need for your intervention. Also, make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted before every departure.
3. Use Your Hazards and Pull Over if There’s a Problem
If something requires your attention in the backseat to the extent that it can’t be addressed while you’re driving or stopped at a red light, you might be tempted to put it off until you reach the next exit or your destination. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you notice that your toddler has unbuckled themselves, is handling something that they shouldn’t be, or is having a non-stop tantrum, it may be better to just turn your hazard lights on, gradually slow down, and pull over to a safe area on the side of the road where there’s ample distance between your vehicle and passing motorists.
4. Don’t Follow Closely Behind Other Vehicles
Finally, this tip is straightforward but powerful in preventing many accidents: try to leave at least one car’s length distance-wise between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. So, if you’re traveling at 60 mph, you should try to stay about six car lengths behind the car in front of you.
Go With the Flow of Traffic!
In closing, don’t make the classic mom mistake of driving too slow on the highway or other roads where vehicles might speed by you, as that could lead to collisions with other motorists who might not be able to drive around you or stop in time.