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Tune in to Road Safety Week 2013! - Day One

It’s day 1 of national Road Safety Week! To help us all ‘Tune In’ to road safety, Field Fisher Waterhouse in conjunction with Brake are providing information about the various distractions that can affect us when driving, along with advice about how to avoid these distractions.

Distractions come in many forms, one of which can be passengers, especially if they’re young children!

Talking to passengers often isn’t as distracting as talking to someone on a mobile phone, as passengers will often pause their conversation when hazards  develop – so long as the conversation isn’t too lively and heated, it is possible to keep our minds on a conversation, and on the roads.

 This can go out of the window, though, with young children, who might not be aware of the dangers of distracting a driver, and one survey by the AA suggested a quarter of all crashes (from the very small to the very serious) occurred because of drivers having to deal with children in the backseat. The question ‘are we there yet’ is one of the most feared for parents on a long drive with their kids, and though it’s not always possible to keep a child quiet and content, Brake’s tips are to;

  • Set expectations for your kids – for longer journeys tell them how long you’ll be in the car for, when/if you might be stopping, and tell them how dangerous it can be for them to distract you;

  • Have something for your kids to do – a book or magazine, a favourite toy or handheld games device can keep kids occupied and quiet. If you’ve more than one child, have them play games (like 20 questions) to keep them all occupied and distracting each other, rather than you!

  • On longer journeys, stop regularly every 2 hours to give your kids a chance to stretch and get out of the car. This should help make them less fidgety on longer journey, and would also provide you with a chance to have some snacks/drinks, go to the toilet and generally unwind a bit, which can make a daunting journey a bit more bearable!  

  • If your child does become too distracting, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and wait for them to calm down.
There are loads of sites with great road safety advice and games for young children. To find out more, visit the Brake website here and follow the listed links.