The end of July is upon up and parents will be traveling with their children during the last month of summer. It is good to remember that summer road trips can be lots of fun, but can also be risky. Consider the results of a recent study. According to the research done by Angus Reid for Insurance Hunter, an online insurance quotes provider- parent drivers may be dangerously exhausted behind the wheel. The survey found that by the time many parents got on the road they were already tired. In fact, 30% of fathers and 14% of mothers reported nodding off while driving on family road trips. These are alarmingly high percentages.
Although this survey was done in Canada, my guess is that similar results would be found in the U.S. We may have a lot to learn from our Canadian neighbors. Perhaps parents are so busy taking care of preparing for the trip and the kids’ needs that they forget about their own. This wouldn’t be the first time parents put their kids’ needs ahead of their own. Most of us do this with the best of intentions and with lots of love. Nonetheless, we may be doing the entire family a disservice by not attending to the needs of the adult drivers.
Here are some highly recommended safety tips for parents traveling with kids. These precautions will ensure that everyone arrives at the intended destination and back home safely:
1. Make it an absolute priority that the driver gets a good night’s sleep the night before the trip. Coffee is not an adequate substitute for sleep.
2. If possible, drive during the smartest travel times which are during the daylight hours. It makes sense that accidents are more likely to occur when visibility is decreased and the kids are starting to get cranky and tired.
3. Switch drivers if necessary. Make sure that all adult drivers are comfortable with this plan prior to the trip.
4. Schedule breaks from driving during the trip. You may even want to stop and spend the night at a motel if the driver is running out of steam and continue on the next day. You certainly wouldn’t continue to drive a car that was out of gasoline.
5. Pack the night before to cut down on the level of exhaustion on the day of the trip.
6. Ensure that there is enough food and drink for the drivers.