Driving is something that almost every moms does... there's a reason there's a bumper sticker out there that says, "Mom's Taxi" on it! As a mom, safety is important to me and SocialMoms and Esurance have teamed up to learn what driving tips we moms have to offer, aside from the standard "Buckle Up!" rule that we have. Here are 5 of my own mom-inspired driving tips that I would never have considered as carefully if I weren't a mom.
1. No, you can't sit in the front seat! Have you ever actually taken the time to read the fine print on the visor on the passenger side? It will tell you that allowing children 12 and under to sit/be placed in a car seat is a big no-no. A small child will not be in the same body position as an adult, and those air bags are designed for adults and a child could be injured by the airbag deploying. Having had one actually deploy - in my face - I can appreciate this warning. So there's no one under 12 that sits in the front seat of my car.
2. Cut the mindless chatter! My kids know if I tell them to cut the chatter, that they better comply with that request. We issue this warning whenever we are in heavy traffic or have to watch multiple lanes, something that is very common in the DC-area. Babbling on about nothing - particularly at their advanced ages - is frowned up. They know if we tell them we need to concentrate on the road that it's time to zip their lips.
3. Keep a respectable interval, especially in construction zones. Construction zones often bottleneck and can have starts and stops, sometimes within a very short distance. If you see those orange signs, pay close attention to the traffic in front of you, as far as you can see. Those brake lights tend to roll back through the line of traffic and you don't want to be caught unawares by someone jacking their brakes suddenly. Having been rear-ended once by an inattentive driver in a construction zone, I exercise caution with keeping enough of an interval that if traffic suddenly stops, I've got room between me and the guy ahead of me. This topic brings me to ....
4. Be nice and let people in! There are always those impatient people who rush along side you and try valiantly to cheat the system (and ignore the merge signs) in the hopes of getting a few extra cars ahead when a lane narrows. Resist the urge to not let that person in. I know it's hard! It's not rewarding their impolite and brash driving behavior, instead it is saving you from hitting them because they will cut you off to get in. Be kind and let them merge.
5. Scrape all of your windows and brush off all the snow! Though we haven't seen much snow this winter to speak of, I grew up in the snow belt of Northwestern Pennsylvania. One of the things that my parents stressed to me was the importance of brushing off all the snow and scraping the ice off all the windows in your car. You don't want have areas of window that you can't look out of, and even if you don't have back seat passengers, you should still scrape those windows as well. With regard to snow removal, you should not leave snow on your roof. Your car heats up and that snow melts, leaving a layer just floating there. Brake suddenly, and you will have it slide down over your windshield. Worse, you could be hit by someone else's roof snow! My husband took some big ice chunks off a paper delivery truck once, just from being behind him on the highway. Be safe! Take care of your snow for your safety and the safety of the guy behind you.
Do you have any other great tips to share? I would love to read your comments below. It's so important to practice safe driving and make sure your policy needs are reviewed often to ensure that they continue to meet your needs. You see your doctor every year for a check up and you should review your insurance needs at least on a yearly basis to make sure you are well-covered in the event of the unexpected.
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I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.