Simple, Critical Driving Practices for New Parents by Daniel Sherwin
As a new parent, you know that your number-one priority is protecting your child. You know that amid the sleepless nights, diaper changes and feedings, you will do anything possible to keep your little miracle safe and sound.
However, just because you know this doesn’t mean you aren’t vulnerable to making mistakes every now and then. And when you’re on the road, mistakes are not something you want happening—especially with your child in the backseat. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your vehicle is in good repair and that you take every precaution you can to drive safely. Here are some basic maintenance and safety tips to keep in mind.
Get the proper insurance coverage.
Becoming a parent is the perfect time to review your auto insurance policy, especially if you’ve had the same coverage for many years. Shop around to compare providers to ensure you find a policy that provides the coverage your family needs. Bear in mind, it’s hard to go wrong with companies who have been in business for a long stretch of time. For instance, State Farm has been around since 1922, and it has an 18% market share with a top-notch rating. Similarly, Allstate began in 1931 and holds 11% of the market share, and holds an A+ rating. For best results, contemplate what will meet your needs in all respects.
Take your vehicle in for maintenance.
If you’re like most parents, you are or will be pretty busy. This means that things like maintenance appointments can easily be forgotten or delayed. Don’t make that mistake. Your vehicle needs to be serviced regularly in order to ensure it works like it’s supposed to for you and your family. Plus, if you keep pushing off maintenance, there will eventually be a problem with your vehicle, and it could end up costing you a hefty repair bill.
Do some things yourself.
Along with taking your vehicle in to get serviced, it can be beneficial to learn how to do a few things at home. For example, Cars.com explains changing your windsheild wiper blades is something you can do in 15 minutes. Changing your air filter can be done in 10 minutes, and it takes about 20 minutes to remove corrosion from your battery. Furthermore, you can check your tire pressure in just a couple of minutes. Not only will learning to do the maintenance yourself keep you from having to leave your car at the shop all day, but it will also save money in the process.
When it comes to driving, the biggest risk for any parent is distraction. And we face plenty of them every time we get behind the wheel. Since driving itself is a multitasking activity, piling on distractions is a recipe for disaster. If your child is crying in the backseat, don’t try to block it out, or turn around to comfort them, or rush home. Instead, pull over in a parking lot and tend to them—whether it’s feeding them, changing them or anything else they need.
Ditch the cell phone.
One of the worst distractions we face as drivers is our cell phone. Anytime you’re driving, especially with your little one, keep your phone in a place where you can’t reach it (i.e., in the backseat, in your bag on the floorboard, etc.). Even talking on a hands-free system is distracting, but as Edgar Snyder and Associates explains, texting and emailing while behind the wheel can be even more dangerous than drunk driving.
When you’re driving with your little one, your one and only goal is to keep everyone in the car safe. Make sure you have the insurance coverage you need, get your vehicle serviced regularly, and learn how to do some basic maintenance yourself. Also, pull over anytime you are distracted, and don’t use your phone while driving. Taking simple precautions like these can mean the difference between life and death.
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