A New Parents’ Guide to Staying Safe on the Road

November 22, 2023

Photo by Pexels

One of the scariest moments of being a new parent is when you're driving your baby home for the first time. Even if you have the right car seat, quiet music, and clear roads, the responsibility can be daunting. That feeling of worry never goes away, but these simple driving tips for new parents can help, courtesy of Traffic Dave.

Make Your Hands-Free Phone Part of Your Safe Driving Routine

Your phone can be a remarkably helpful tool for keeping you and your family safe on the road. Load your smartphone with a GPS app and a battery-saver app, so you can keep the trip as short as possible and reduce the chance of running out of power. You can also find apps that play soothing music to keep your baby happy during long drives or during noisy traffic.

However, it's important to plan ahead and look for hands-free phone options. Mount your phone using a sturdy mount, so you can access the GPS and other features with your hands rather than looking down to your phone in your lap or next to you in the passenger’s seat.

General Upkeep Is Key

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 45,000 auto accidents per year are caused by vehicle defects, and could have been avoided with a little maintenance. Often, the main culprit is worn-out or properly inflated tyres. When it comes to your tires, set reminders on your phone to check the treads every three months. Also, check the PSI in your tires once a month. If your tires are more than 5 years old, get them checked or have them replaced.

A Garage is Handy

To protect your vehicle from the elements, you should keep it in your garage. If you don’t have a garage, consider building one. A garage makes it easier to perform regular maintenance on your car, and it keeps your car from being damaged by snow, ice, and rain. Keeping your car in a garage will lengthen its lifespan. Not only does a garage offer a safe place for your car, but adding a garage to your home is one of the most popular ways to increase your home’s value.

If you’re an apartment dweller, you may have the option to rent a garage space in your complex. If not, consider exploring your options. You could find a new place with a better price and an optional garage.

Make a Deliberate Routine for Your Scheduled Maintenance

Find a reliable mechanic who can work with your schedule or offers car drop-off options at your convenience. A mechanic with flexible drop-off and pick-up times means you don't have to disrupt your routine as you establish a sleeping schedule during those crucial first months. Having a comprehensive mechanic also means you don't have to worry about driving to different shops to keep your car functional. Don’t forget to ask friends for mechanics that they trust and have relied on for years.

Shop For Insurance

As a new parent, having reliable transportation is paramount. You want to ensure you can always get your child where they need to be, whether it's a doctor's appointment or just a trip to the park. This makes shopping around for auto insurance an essential task. It's not just about finding the most affordable option, but also about securing coverage that provides the right protection for your family. Compare different insurance providers, consider their coverage options, costs, and customer service reputation. Remember, a good auto insurance policy isn't just about protecting your vehicle, but also about safeguarding your family's mobility and peace of mind.

Quick Suggestions for the Road

When you and your baby are in the car together, you can't always give them your full attention. So here are four quick ideas that can help:

  1. Attach a mirror to the top of the backseat. You can check on your baby, who is in a backward-facing car seat, through this and the rearview mirror. Your baby will also be able to see you, and that can help keep them calm.
  2. Practice stress management. If you are prone to anger management issues when you drive, it’s time to put a stop to this. Yelling and frustration can upset your baby, and it can even distract you from safe driving. When you find yourself in a situation that angers you, practice deep breathing, talk through in your mind why you’re upset and consider that the other driver might just be having a really bad day.
  3. Always keep a sun screen on the window. When you leave your driveway, you won't know for sure at what angle the sunlight is going to enter your car. Keep a suction cup or permanent screen on the window closest to the car seat to block the sun. Some states require this, and Newton-Wellesley Hospital warns that direct sunlight is dangerous for babies.
  4. Carry a spare battery pack for your phone. Music apps, GPS, and other long-running apps can drain your phone's battery. So stuff a spare into the diaper bag for emergencies.
  5. Mind Your Caffeine. Too much caffeine can induce feelings of anxiety, which you never want with a baby on board. Be sure to stay aware of how much caffeine you’re consuming so you don’t have an issue.

Having your baby in the car can be stressful, but if you have an action plan for every time you’re on the road together, this can make things easier. Plus, reading up on tips, recommendations, and legal requirements helps keep your baby safer each time you get behind the wheel.

For your transportation information hub, visit Traffic Dave today!

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