Distracted driving has become a major issue as roads become more crowded, and electronic devices are not the only thing that can grab a driver’s attention away from the road. Traveling with a child can become dangerous because it is impossible to turn them off like an electronic device, and many of them can handle only a short distance. There are ways to make it easier to travel with a child in the vehicle, and here are just a few.
Being realistic is one of the most important factors when dealing with a child, so the driver should expect there will be tears and noise. Riding in a vehicle for more than a few minutes is not an enjoyable experience for a small child because they are trussed up in a seat that might not suit them. Knowing the amount of time they will be willing to sit still and play might be one of the best ways to plan driving down the road.
Help in any situation is good, but those traveling with a child might need more than just someone to sit up front and help them with directions. Children often respond best when an adult is paying attention to them, to making sure someone is always available to sit in the back seat with the smallest member of the crew could be a step in the right direction. It will not avoid all the tantrums that might occur, but it should cut them down to a manageable level.
For those on a trip that will take several hours, testing the driver’s patience might become a goal for the child. One of the easiest times to drive is while a child is asleep, so it stands to reason that driving during the evening or deepest part of the night could be a good way to move down the road. The motion of the vehicle should lull them into sleep, and the driver should take care to do slow turns and smooth starts and stops to keep them in that state.
For those who must travel during the day, planning to stop frequently could make the drive easier. Children are full of energy, and they need to be able to dispose of it before they can sit still. Stopping at a grassy area where the child can run and play for a few minutes will generally result in at least a few minutes of peace and quiet in a moving vehicle, and it could lead to a nice long nap.
Scenic routes are often a pleasant way to enjoy the scenery, but children today are often more amused by their electronic devices. If they are older children in the car as well, the scenic viewpoints could be a waste of time. Keeping a smaller child busy might be difficult, so choosing the fastest route could save everyone a great deal of frustration.
Snacks and drinks are often important for anyone traveling, and children need them just as much as adults. Keeping supplies in the vehicle that are easy to access will help make the trip more pleasant for everyone.