Driving and Safety

Driving and safety is important each time we set out in our cars, our most important goal is arriving safely at our destination. It is important to always remember that our children are influenced by our driving and safety habits and we are constantly watched by our family while driving. Our children will likely adapt both our positive and negative habits, so think carefully about what you are role-modeling to your children when you are together in the car.

 The following are some driving safety tips that will guide you when navigating the roads

driving and safetyNever drive when you are tired ~Sometimes you may feel that you cannot leave your car behind or calling a cab will cost more than you simply getting on the road yourself. If you know you are too tired and cannot concentrate on the road, hand over the keys to your spouse or friend to drive. If you have a safe place to leave your car, call a taxi. Never drive when your concentration is compromised. We are often not the best judge of our level of fatigue so listen to your friends and family if they suggest it is not a good time to get on the road.

The bottom line is If we are ‘in communication’ while driving we are distracted!

Never use your mobile phone ~While you are behind the wheel. You may think that using a hands-free mobile device correct the issue because you’re not fumbling with a headset, but it is still a distraction when you are behind the wheel. The impact of cell phone use and texting on driving and safety is well understood as being a dangerous, risky and an extremely selfish thing to do.

Improving safety while driving means that we are focused on what we are doing, paying attention to our surroundings and in a position to react quickly when necessary. The bottom line is If we are ‘in communication’ while driving we are distracted.  You can always pull right over and call back or wait until you’ve arrived at your destination. after you have arrived safely. A great deal of driver safety is what we do as drivers every day.

Never, ever drive when you are under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs or over the counter medication! ~  Never drive when intoxicated. A prominent issue regarding driving and safety is the risk from those who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Importantly drugs are defined as street drugs, a prescription from a physician along with over the counter medication. The effects are very well known – car accidents, loss of lives, and criminal charges.  clearly the wrong thing to do – each and every time. We all know the effects of alcohol but remember, our children, especially older teens often know when we have taken over the counter medications. They see us suffering from a cold, from allergies or other pain conditions and understand that we must take something our doctor has prescribed or the local pharmacists have recommended.

Talk about these issues often with your children and always set a good example.

Special note about sleep-inducing medication ~ Our driving and safety are highly influenced by the side-effects of medication, especially drowsiness. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of any medicine that you take. If the medicine will cause drowsiness, your doctor will tell you to avoid driving or operating any machinery. Take the time to understand your medication side-effects and any concerns surrounding driving.

All passengers must wear their seat belt in the vehicle at all times ~This is a safety rule that is paramount to follow each time you are either driving or a passenger in a car. It is important to discuss this with caregivers and other family members, who may be taking your child in their vehicle. The car simply does not leave the parking spot until all occupants in the car have their seat belts securely fashioned. Also, wearing your seat belt properly is necessary for it to fully protect you in the case of a collision. No belts slipped under the arm! For more information about seat belts in general or concerning infant, toddler, and other young passengers see our Seat Belt and Car Seats section.

Always have safety equipment in your vehicle ~ A properly stocked First Aid kit, a fire extinguisher and a survival kit are great ideas to have in your car at all times. The ability to put out a fire in the engine before it can reach the gas tank can quickly take care of a serious issue before an injury or death occurs. In the case of a collision, these basic items in your car will mean you are able to tend to any injuries before help arrives. Importantly, during bad weather having the necessities to wait out a bad storm including blankets, water, and some food will keep you and your family safe.

Courtesy While Driving is Key

Never be sucked in by road rage ~ Courtesy when driving goes a long way in setting a good example for our children and reducing stress  while driving. Of course, other drivers do get under our skin but it is part of driving. If we’re honest we know when we’ve made a mistake driving too. Often accompanied by an  “Ooopss so sorry”. Flaring up or losing your temper will only land you in more trouble and may leave a negative impression with your family. If you should find yourself in an altercation with another driver, keep your cool, exchange insurance information if you are involved in a minor accident and when dealing with traffic officers, simply show your driver’s license and insurance slip.

Every country along with specific regions within countries have different driving rules and regulations. We encourage you to research the specific procedures to follow if involved in a driving/road incident. There is no doubt we are upset and angry but losing our cool is not going to help the situation.

There are many more things we can all do to address our driving and safety while operating a vehicle and if you start by following these simple guidelines here, you and your family will be off to a great start in remaining safe while traveling on our roadways.