By Daniel Sherwin
When you have a new baby, the road can seem like a terrifying place. Even those who like to drive can find that being in the car with an infant is one of the most stressful parts of new parenthood. Distracted drivers, unpredictable weather, and roads that aren’t well maintained are just a few of the things you’ll face in the car with your baby, and that doesn’t even include all the things that could go wrong with your own vehicle. That’s why it’s so important to keep car and road safety in mind and to be prepared for anything.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep your family safe. Making sure the maintenance on your car is up-to-date, using your phone safely, and taking precautions such as getting the best insurance policy for your needs will help to give you peace of mind when you’re traveling. It’s also a good idea to brush up on your driving skills, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of bad weather throughout the year.
Read on for a few tips on how to incorporate road safety into your lifestyle as a new parent.
Utilize your phone
While you obviously don’t want to use your phone for talking or texting while driving, there are other ways your device can be helpful in the car. From providing GPS services to playing soft music to soothe baby to sleep, your phone can really come in handy in the car. Many new models can be integrated with your vehicle for hands-free driving, including the new iPhone models, which can block calls by utilizing the “do not disturb while driving” feature. Newer models also have a quick-charging battery and powerful chip, so you can use the safety apps cord-free more often. For Android users there is a high-powered option with a long-lasting battery. Look for a model that fits your budget and has all the features you want, such as Android Auto, which locks your phone when you’re driving. Shop around to compare prices, and look for deals from providers that will allow you to trade in your old phone for a percentage off the new one.
Sign up for oil change coupons
Many quick-lube businesses will send out coupons for oil changes and tire rotations throughout the year, so look online for their websites so you can sign up with an email address. This way, you’ll never miss a deal. Keeping your car well-maintained is a big part of vehicle safety for your family, and regular oil changes can help immensely. Not only will the service change the oil, they’ll also check your tires, windshield wipers, and fluids to make sure you’re ready for the road.
Choose the right insurance
It’s tough to think about getting into an accident with your kids in your car, but it’s still something you should have a plan for. Many parents choose to purchase full coverage which covers your vehicle and medical expenses if you’re in an accident. Even though full coverage is a more expensive option, you may be able to save if you insure more than one car through the same company, take a defensive driving course, and are an accident-free driver.
Distracted drivers account for roughly 25 percent of all fatal car accidents in the U.S., and these accidents are preventable. Many drivers become multitaskers behind the wheel, doing everything from putting on makeup to eating an entire meal while the car is moving. Minimizing distractions–no matter how insignificant they may seem–is essential in staying safe in the car, and this includes things your passengers are doing. Loud game systems or noisy behavior can distract you just as much as anything else, so make sure your passengers know how important it is for you to focus. It costs nothing and it’s a crucial factor in keeping your family safe.
Get some rest
New parents are perhaps some of the most exhausted people on the planet, and when you’re overly tired, you’re bound to make mistakes that could cost you dearly. From leaving your child in the car to losing your good decision-making skills, you can be affected in several ways by lack of sleep. Operating a vehicle when you’re that tired isn’t a good idea, so give yourself a break when you can and ask for help from friends or family members so you can rest.
Staying safe on the road encompasses many things, from taking care of your car to taking care of your mental health. Think carefully about how you can make changes that will keep you and your loved ones safe each time you get into the car.
Photo via Pixabay by SplitShire