We spend lots of time behind the wheel, whether it’s commuting to work or running errands. When you add a child to the equation, you begin to realize how safe — or unsafe — your style of driving really is. Here are some things you can do to avoid the dangers that can occur while driving.
To make sure your family is protected when you hit the road, get regular oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations/airchecks, brake pads, etc. When the dealership sends you coupons for maintenance, use them. When they send you reminders that your car is due for scheduled maintenance, don’t ignore it. Just because you don’t hear, see, or smell something doesn’t mean that a problem isn’t there. These hidden issues can lead to car trouble and potential accidents. Catching the problem early could also save you thousands of dollars in repairs later down the line.
It can be hard to find a trustworthy mechanic, but you can learn about the parts that keep your car running to avoid overpaying and to have a better understanding of how to detect issues. You might also be able to save money by doing some of the easier maintenance yourself, like changing wiper blades or the air filter.
There’s so much information about car maintenance that it can be hard to know where to start. Look for general information on items such as tires, batteries, windshield wipers, and brake pads to make sure you keep your car in tip-top shape. A well-maintained car provides safer transportation for the whole family.
Ideally, you should keep your car clean as well. Easier said than done, right? Having children means your car is liable to get fairly messy, so make a point to regularly clean your car so your family isn’t breathing in dusty air and bacteria.
As a new parent, you already know it’s important to have health insurance to ensure your child is protected in case any health/medical emergencies occur. However, it’s equally as important that you have great car insurance to cover any medical bills, repairs, or replacements in the event of an accident.
If it’s time to renew your policy, do your homework and carefully review your coverage so you know what you’re paying for and what you don’t really need. There are several factors that will determine how high your premiums are besides the type of policy you choose. These include your credit score, gender, age, and marital status. Also if you live in an urban area (such as NYC), you’ll also likely pay more due to higher traffic and crime rates.
How you drive is just as important as the condition of your car. Safe driving is imperative for all drivers, but realistically, most drivers tend to bend the rules on the road. When you’re a parent with children in the car, make a point to slow down. This means taking slower turns, merging early to avoid last-minute swerves, stopping at yellow lights, using the blinker before you turn or merge, not cutting off other drivers, and keeping calm on the road. Driver anxiety and road rage are not only unsafe while the car is moving, but it’s also nerve-wracking for your passengers.
When you’re feeling high-strung, the tension in the car increases and kids can get upset, adding to your frustration. Keep everyone in your car at ease by remaining calm. Listening to calming music on the radio can even help you feel more relaxed while driving.
Safe driving practices along with keeping your car in great shape will reduce your family’s risk while on the road. Put safety first by adjusting your own driving habits and taking care of your car’s maintenance. And don’t forget to buckle up!