Tips on Safe Driving With Children

With the summer holidays starting, Driver training specialist and head of training for IAM Drive & Survive, Simon Elstow provides advice and tips on how to keep your children occupied and avoid being distracted by them during long journeys.

  • Always leave a gap of at least two seconds between you and the car in front. Following too closely cuts the time you'll have to react should something happen. You'll be more able to spot hazards and keep your kids safe.
  • Keep them occupied by inventing games that promote and reward quiet behaviour without needing the driver's direct involvement.
  • Portable games consoles or in-car DVD players will keep kids occupied for hours. But add some headphones - the soundtrack on the monitors can be just as distracting as the kids.
  • If you are planning a long journey, make sure you're organised, remembering to pack plenty of food and drink.
  • Allow extra stops. Find somewhere for them to let off steam such as a playground.
  • Have a plastic bag (without any holes) at hand for travel sickness.
  • A second adult to look after the children makes a massive difference, leaving the driver to drive.
  • Don't turn round to deal with fighting kids. Find somewhere to stop first.

Elstow said: "Kids can be noisy, disruptive and distracting, especially if they get bored. The trick is to keep them occupied as much as possible and to keep your attention on the road."

22 July 2011 Staff

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