Being a mom is tough. What’s tougher than being a mom? Driving while momming. Loud kids in the backseat, mom’ phone ringing and buzzing, work that doesn’t stop, and pieces of fast food flying across the car. Hands down, moms have it rough while behind the wheel. So what do you do to reduce your stress and practice safe driving? Follow the tips and suggestions crafted carefully by Defensive Driving Austin to help keep yourself and your family safe while successfully navigating the streets of motherhood.
- Prepare for the ride before the car gets moving. Prep entertainment for the kids, get their seatbelt in place, phones down and connected to bluetooth (if available), ground rules explained, and no craziness until the returns to a complete stop. Before your car starts rolling forward, you should have everything as prepared as possible so that your only focus behind the wheel is on the drive ahead.
- Explain some of the general rules for the road to kids old enough to comprehend. If your child is old enough, give an explanation of driver safety. For older children, it’s as simple as explaining that drivers need to limit distractions to keep passengers safe. For younger children, car rides can be a team effort in which everyone cooperates to contribute to the overall safety of the ride.
- For small babies and young toddlers, extra help can be a lifesaver. Babies and toddlers can be unpredictable even for the most experienced moms, so if you have a long car ride ahead, extra assistance can help to keep things safe and calm. By having someone else ride in the car with you, or next to your little one, it will allow you to focus on the road knowing that your precious cargo is in safe hands.
- Don’t text and drive. Moms are always juggling a million things at a time, but that doesn’t mean that texting and driving is ok — even for the purposes of multitasking. Save the messages for the end of your car ride. Not only can the text messages wait, but they are not worth risking the lives of those around you.
- Avoid driving while tired. The parenthood experience comes complete with sleepless nights— unfortunately, it’s a part of an otherwise awesome gig. However, driving while tired is similar to driving while drunk. When you’re tired you can’t think or react clearly, and your judgment is impaired. The solution? Catch some z’s before getting behind the wheel so that you’re operating at 100 percent.
- Check and double check all of your gear. Babies and older children come with plenty of gear to help keep them safe while moms are behind the wheel. However, before getting out on the road, check carseats, mirrors, and other items to make sure that each is compliant with manufacturer instructions and working properly.
- If all else fails, pull over. If your baby is crying, your older kids won’t stop fighting, your phone won’t stop chiming, or you’re just too tired trudge along any further— pull over. It is better to pause for a moment and regain control of the distractions within the vehicle, than to cause an accident. If there are too many things keeping you from momming behind the wheel effectively, it’s ok to get things under control before continuing the ride.
Being a mom isn’t easy, but as far as momming while driving is concerned, it doesn’t have to be so hard. By following these tips, your mom journeys going forward can be successfully and safely managed.
Author Bio: Cary is an Oregon native with a flair for fashion and organic gardening. She’s passionate about writing and enjoys hiking, reading, and cooking. When she isn’t writing about health or fashion, she is playing with her rescue pitbull, Mazie.