Safe Driving Tips For Busy ParentsNov 24 2017
When driving with children, moms and dads need to pay extra attention to not just their own driving habits but also those of other drivers on the road. Hectic schedules, tired drivers and distractions are often the perfect storm for causing unexpected delays or unfortunate accidents. That extra attention is even more critical when driving in and around high-crash areas or intersections.
In Abbotsford, for example, there are a number of intersections that experience multiple crashes every year. South Fraser Way and Gladwin Road might seem like it’s easy to get through but, according to a recent report, it’s Abbotsford’s worst intersection for crashes. More than 100 crashes happen at that intersection every year. Between 2011 and 2015, that intersection saw 690 collisions. Other dangerous intersections include Sumas Way and Highway 1, and Highway 1 and Mt. Lehman Road.
So what can busy parents do to lessen their chances of being involved in an accident with their children? While it’s impossible to avoid busy Abbotsford intersections, there are a few safe driving tips that will hopefully help avoid a collision.
Research indicates that 98 percent of parents who drive with children said they were preoccupied for almost a third of the time they were driving. That’s a lot of risk for causing potential accidents. Driving is an activity that demands full and complete attention. Eating can be a distraction and texting is an absolute no-no. Even phone conversations should be avoided whenever possible. You might be hands-free but if you’re focusing on your conversation, that means you’re not focusing on the road. You never know when someone is going to run a red light, cut you off or pull out in front of you. And if you’ve got one or two fussy passengers in the back, pull over if you can instead of trying to calm them down while you’re driving.
When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes or have slower reaction times to other drivers’ actions. If you haven’t had enough sleep and are tired, you might ask if your partner can drive or, alternately, rest up and make your trip later. Schedule appointments a bit later in the morning to give yourself some time to catch up. If you feel sleepy in the car, pull over and take a power nap for about 20 minutes. And you shouldn’t count on an open window or loud music as props that will help you stay awake.
The speed limit in school zones is 30 km/h and it is in effect from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on a regular school day, unless otherwise posted. When you are in a school zone, mind the speed limit and always watch for people in crosswalks – even if you have the light. Double check behind you if you are backing up as small children are often difficult to see. It doesn’t hurt to plan ahead: if you can, avoid the school zone completely and take a different route. It might add a couple of extra minutes to your time but, in the end, it’s worth it.
Driving on an empty stomach might not seem like a big deal but if you’re hungry, you’re likely distracted and in a hurry. Eat before you get in the car. Another distraction that’s often overlooked by busy parents? Toys. It’s a good idea to keep your children’s toys tied to their car seat and, as they get older, in mesh storage compartments affixed to seatbacks. It’s easy for a toy to roll under your feet, which is a distraction itself but, even worse, it could end up lodged under the brake pedal.
Practicing safe driving habits when your children are small often means they will grow up to be more attentive and defensive drivers. And that can translate into fewer accidents for everyone.
If you or a member of your family have been involved in an accident or need legal advice regarding personal injury or other legal services, contact the professionals at RDM Lawyers.
- Crash Central: See which Abbotsford intersections have the most collisions
- ICBC traffic safety tips for parents and drivers
- 8 Safe Driving Tips for Moms and Dads
- 6 Dangerous Driving Mistakes Moms Make
- Safe Driving Tips for Moms and Dads