Safe Easter trip with kids in the back seat
This year’s Easter exodus is just around the corner. Endlessly long queues can easily be boring for the children. “Prepare the kids for the trip and take breaks along the way. That makes it both nicer and safer for everyone,” Communication Manager of NAF, Camilla Ryste, recommends.
Most people are familiar with the questions: “how far left, now? Are we there yet?”. Impatient children can be an ordeal, and it’s easy to be stressed. It is then important to keep in mind that distractions in the car can affect just how safe a driver you are.
“An inattentive driver is a bad driver. Driver distraction contributes to as much as every third fatal traffic accident, and a backseat child is one of the most common causes of this,” Ryste informs. The figure is based on accident analyses from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
“Driving requires your complete and utter attention. It is, therefore, important to plan a long car ride including children, in such a way that it does not affect road safety,” Ryste elaborates.
Plan the trip ahead of time
Most children handle long journeys better if they are prepared for what is in store. Inform the children that the trip will take time, that there may be queues and that you will enjoy yourselves en route.
“Plan with the children in advance. Ask them what it takes to make it enjoyable on the road, which cuddly toys they want in the travel bag, which book or game they want to bring along. Not least, what they want to listen to in the car,” the Communication Manager encourages.
Remember to bring along enough food and drinks for the kids, that can make the long hours pass a little faster. Hold back on the sugar, though!
“Are you alone with the kids in the car, remember to pack the food in such a way that they help themselves. If you have to assist, stop the car before you start rummaging through the food container!” Ryste emphasises.
Tablets uphold the “family peace” on many long car trips. Music, games, movies and audio books – the selection of digital entertainment for the kids are galore. You must, however, remember one thing before you embark on the journey:
“There must be no loose equipment inside the car! Should you be met with an accidental, you don’t want a tablet flying through the cabin at force. There are good solutions to secure such products available, make use of them!” She exclaims.
Children who are accustomed to tablets and smartphones in their everyday life, often find it nice with some “family time” when in the car.
“We usually make playlists where everybody takes turns to choose a song. Audiobooks and quizzes are also popular,” Ryste reveals. She has two children of primary school age, herself.
Make pit stops
Another good tip is to take breaks along the way. This is particularly important for the youngest children. If you have a tired one-year-old in the child seat, there is not much else that helps.
“Stopping and running around a bit can be enough for an avid child body. Some routes boast Cafés with playrooms. If not, there are many nice picnic areas where you can perform outdoor activities,” She continues.
It is also important to think of the children in the back seat when packing the trunk of the car.
“A lot of luggage in the trunk can push the backrest forward if wind up in an accident. Remember to strap your luggage! The children are then safer, even if the worst comes to worst during the trip,” Communications Manager Ryste concludes.
Before you go for a long ride with your car, it is a good idea to make sure that your vehicle is ship shape. Useful tips can be found here:
© Norges Automobilforbund / #Norway Today
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today