When it comes to travelling with our children I don’t like to leave anything to chance. We chose our car based on its safety ratings, luckily, we still loved the look of it. But that was irrelevant first and foremost was a car that got a high score on the Euro NCAP tests. Both hubbie and I were on the same page fortunately and agreed safety was paramount. So, our Skoda Octavia was bought, and we committed ourselves to a long time paying for it! It seemed worthwhile though as staying safe on the road is a priority.
We even paid extra to have back air bags suitable for children installed at manufacture. The company said we are one of only a select few who asked for this. I felt it gave more peace of mind! Although I now travel in the back with youngest, as we needed to split the kids up and put an end to their squabbling!!! It was a big sacrifice to make as I no longer had a heated seat. If I had known the seating arrangements would have changed, along with the back air bags I would also have had back heated seats! Safety AND keeping warm are priorities.
If finances are a bit tight and you must make do with the car you already own, there are still things you can do to make it safer on the road.
There are so many different tyres out there it can be confusing knowing which to pick. An established company like TyrePlus can give you some pointers. Helping you choose the right tyre based on the load rating, speed rating and the aspect ratio. If you are travelling with a fully loaded car you will need to know your tyres can support the weight. The speed rating is more of an issue if you like to travel fast, which we don’t. Certain tyres can only cope with a certain speed. As for the aspect ratio certain tyres make for better handling, this can help you keep a better grip on the road. Spending a little more for a quality tyre is worthwhile.
Try and be a courteous driver. We have had one occasion where an elderly gentleman followed our car beeping and shouting. He then pulled over and had a go through the window. It wasn’t a pleasant experience to be honest as the kids were in the car. Hopefully by responding calmly the children realise there are better ways to drive safely on the road. Getting irate just makes it more dangerous for everyone on the road.
Make sure everyone is wearing their seat belt. Depending on the age and size of your child make sure they have a booster seat (or rear facing seat when very young). Don’t feel pressurised by your child to move them out of their seat too quickly, even if their friends have. You stick with what’s best for your child.
If your child travels in the front like my eldest now does make sure you turn off the front car bag as the air bag deployment can be dangerous if not fatal for young children.
You want good driving and car maintenance habits in place as your children will learn from following your example. When they are independent drivers you want them to know what best to do on the roads. What other tips do you have to keep your family safe on the road?