Is Mom a Safe Driver? Here are 4 ways moms put their kids at risk on the road.
1. The Cell Phone. It can be a great little piece of technology, but cell phones are rapidly becoming both a blessing and a curse. Much has been written about texting and driving, but just answering a ringing phone takes your focus off the road and greatly increases the chance of a crash.
When you’re driving, leave your phone in your purse and do not pick it up. There’s nothing that a caller or text message wants to tell you that can’t wait until you get to your destination. If you think the call might be important, pull off the road and call them back. Not only are you protecting your children from the crash you may have today, you’re also teaching your older children how to handle technology distractions on the road when they’re behind the wheel one day.Teach by example!
2. Baby and Toddler Care. It can be very distracting to try to calm a cranky toddler while driving. The attempt to do both simultaneously causes lots of moms to take their eyes of the road—”for just a second”—to hand a child a toy or sippy cup in the back seat. Remember: as much as a screaming child insists otherwise, he or she will not be injured by brief thirst or discomfort. But a crash may cause both of you real injury. If your child is inconsolable, pull over to give him your full attention for a moment and make him comfortable, then pull back onto the road when things are calm.
3. Ignoring Auto Maintenance. Even if your knowledge of cars begins and ends with “put it in ‘D’ and go” you must make sure your vehicle is well-maintained for optimum safety. A blow-out on overly-worn tires or a breakdown due to a lack of maintenance can cause an accident, and is largely avoidable. Taking time to read your car’s owner’s manual can give you the information you need to take care of things in a timely manner.
4. Lecturing to the Rear-View Mirror. Sometimes our children need correction in no uncertain terms. When this happens on the road, moms are often seen lecturing passionately to a child via the rear-view mirror. The problem, of course, is that her eyes should be on the road. If you need to have a conversation where eye contact is essential, either pull over or wait until you get home.