Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Car safety is key: 10 tips to keep your family safe on the road this summer #SafeliteSafe.

I may have previously mentioned that we were involved in an unfortunate accident at the end of 2009.  Smooshed between two SUVs, our minivan was totaled.  However, we were not!  After our minivan was officially totaled out by our insurer, with stiff necks we went about replacing it with the same van, only a few years newer.  So, you could say that car safety is very important to me.  It is something that I strictly monitor in my car and enforce vigilantly. Car safety can be the difference between minor injuries and more severe.  It can also mean the difference between life and death.

So what can you do to keep your family safe on the road this summer?  Here are Pinching Abe's top 10 rules tips to keep your family safe.
4' 9" for boosters
  • 1 -- Are you more than 4' 9" tall?  My kids ride with booster seats.  Since they are below that magical number, they have to ride in a booster seat.  Yeah, I get attitude from my 10 year old, but that's the rule.  When she finally reaches 4' 10", we'll celebrate.  Until then, my car, my rules!
  • 2 -- Face forward!  This is something my kids try not to do.  Seat belts are designed to work while you are front facing, not sitting at an angle.  Besides, this face front rule also means less squabbling when the kids are in the 2nd and 3rd row trying to get away from their annoying sibling.
  • 3 -- Mom doesn't change movies while she's driving.  No matter how hard they beg, resist the urge to blindly reach around for a DVD to put in to quiet them down. Pull over and flip through your DVD collection.  Distracted drivers are never a good thing on the road.
  • 4 -- Know the cell phone laws in the state you're in.  We live in Virginia, but often travel through Maryland.  Maryland, by the way, has a no talking on your handheld phone law.  If you must multitask, get a Bluetooth, even if your state doesn't require it. 
  • 5 -- Keep tabs on maintenance for your car.  It is so important to make sure that your tires are properly inflated and that your windshield is free of chips and cracks.  Companies like Safelite Autoglass will come to where your car is, generally within 24 hours of your call.  Nabbing cracks and chips early not only makes your car safer, but it could save you an expensive windshield replacement later on.   Safelite AutoGlass will email you a picture of the tech who will come to take care of your chip.  You'll know who they are when they knock on the door at home or at your work if you have them come to your car there.
Don't drive in me. Wear at the beach!
  • 6 -- Inside voices!  I am very strict about the inside voices rule in my car.  Screaming kids or those who suddenly shriek are a distraction.  There's no screaming in my car at all.
  • 7 -- Save the flip flops for the beach.  Proper footwear is a car safety must.  If you wear loose footwear in the car, it could get in the way of the gas or brake and cause a dangerous situation.  Wear your sensible, sturdy foot wear to the beach and change there.
  • 8 --  Only adults in the front seat.  Admittedly, this is one tip that I wish more parents would observe.  Airbags are designed for passengers of a specific size and the sticky note under the visor states that it is recommended that children under the age of 12 not sit in the front seat.  Regardless of hearing, "But So-and-So's mom lets her sit up front..." the rule is adults only sit in the front seat in my car.
  • 9 -- Drive where you are comfortable.  My husband knows that I personally love the slow lane.  I'm content to stay over in that lane for the whole trip, if need be.  I don't hang in the fast lane for long if I venture over there and don't waste my time and energy jockeying to get where I'm going five minutes faster.  If it's my turn to drive, he knows that I am most comfortable in the slow or middle lane and that I'm not going to pass many people.  It's so important to drive where you are comfortable so that your nerves aren't frazzled and a peep from a kid in the back seat nearly gives you apoplexy.  Driving should be fun - or at the very least, not stressful.
  • 10 -- Rain-x your windshield.  Have you ever used Rain-x on your windshield?  We use this product in our household and I love it.  Water, even from a heavy downpour, just slides off the windshield.  If you travel highways, using Rain-x for safety reasons is something to consider.  Semis throw off a lot of spray and being able to see clearly makes everyone safe.  By the way, never Rain-x a windshield that has a crack or chip.  I was told this by a repair person once!
Those are my tips and rules!  I have to say that I have one kid well trained with the indoor voices thing in the car, and one to go.  However, I have a low threshold for noise when I am driving, whereas my husband can stand a little more squabbling than I can.  It's all about what makes you calm, cool, and relaxed behind the wheel.  Happy, unstressed drivers are attentive and that makes the roads safer for your family and safer for everyone.

Other tips for keeping your family safe, courtesy of Safelite:
  • Think you can ignore a chip in your windshield? Think again! The windshield provides up to 30% of your vehicles structural integrity, and a chip smaller than 6 inches (or the size of a dollar bill) can easily be repaired by filling it with a special resin.
  • Forget do-it-yourself repair kits. The resin could easily shrink or yellow, lowering the quality of the repair. Safelite AutoGlass uses a patented repair process.  A vacuum is created over the damaged area and the resin penetrates and fills the finest micro-cracks. The technician pulls off the vacuum changer and the UV light hardens the resin. Safelite’s resin is proven to be the strongest and longest lasting on the market.
  • The repair often takes just 30 minutes, and the result is barely visible and the windshield is strong again.

My thanks to the sponsor of this post.

About Safelite AutoGlass:
Safelite AutoGlass® was founded in 1947. Throughout our more than 60 years of service, our company has grown from a single store in Wichita, Kansas, to a national auto glass provider, serving nearly 4 million customers per year.

Through industry-leading 24-hour instant scheduling, convenient in-shop or mobile service, top-of-the-line materials and SafeTech™ certified technicians, you'll find that Safelite AutoGlass offers superior customer service, value and quality.

More info:

Follow Safelite on Twitter: @safelite

Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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