Keeping Safe On The Road With Kids

A road journey with kids is an exciting experience but it can also be quite dangerous. You need to ensure that you are taking the right steps to guarantee that your kids are safe when you’re out on the road. Here are some of the possibilities that we recommend you keep in mind here. 

Use Window Protectors

One of the first options we recommend is that you do use window protectors. With the right window protectors, you will be able to guarantee that there isn’t an issue with the sun glaring through the windows. This can be an absolute nightmare and may even lead to skin damage. It’s important to protect your children’s skin and when they’re in the car this is always going to take more than just sunscreen. Window protectors can also ensure that your kids don’t get too hot on the journey. 

Avoid Distractions

Parents will often have to find the right balance between keeping kids entertained on car journeys and ensuring that they don’t become a distraction while driving. Our first recommendation is that you don’t have music too loud on a car journey. If your child is listening to music or watching a movie in the back do consider giving them a pair of headphones. There are headphones available that are more comfortable for young children to wear and fit like a headband. 

If your child is sitting in the front of the vehicle, then they shouldn’t be watching a movie that is in your line of sight. This can be a massive distraction for you. 

Stopping By The Road

There are multiple reasons why you might need to stop at the side of the road. Your car could break down and if that’s the case then you need to make sure that you keep your kids under control while you wait for the towing service. You can’t let them run around as this can be incredibly dangerous. You might also want to think about keeping them inside the car while you wait if it is safe to do so. 

Checking The Car

Finally, you do need to make sure that you are completing the right checks before you head out in your car. There is a range of checks that you need to keep in mind here. One example would be the tires. If your tires aren’t inflated to the right level this can be a major safety hazard. It can mean that you have lower levels of grip on the road. It’s easy to check if your tires are at the right pressure by giving them a firm kick. 

We hope this helps you understand everything you need to know to guarantee that you are safe on the road with your kids. In doing so, you can avoid a potential disaster scenario where your kids or injured or experience issues while you are out on a car journey. Remember, it’s easy to forget how dangerous a car can be if you fail to handle it the right way. 

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Teens More Likely to Learn Distracted Driving Behavior From Their Parents

As parents we know that our kids are always watching. They notice our behaviors and actions when we least expect it and often reflect back what we do in their own actions.

In a recent study of more than 1,500 teens conducted by Texas A&M University and Aceable Drivers Ed, researchers found that teenagers are more likely to witness their parents engaging in distracted driving behavior than their peers. It’s often assumed that the generation who grew up with cell phones from a young age are the worst offenders when when it comes to poor driving habits when, in reality, they report their friends and peers engaging in fewer instances of distracted driving than their parents.

Modeling good behavior for our kids starts at home. This is why it’s so important for parents to set a great example around safe driving habits. Driving is a huge responsibility and we want our kids to be as safe as possible on the road. Here are a few easy tips to get started so you can set the right example, and become a safer driver yourself:

  • Put your phone in the glovebox while driving
  • Pull over to a complete stop if you need to make a call or eat
  • Get completely ready at home so you’re not multitasking in the car
  • Keep pets in a carrier or secured in the back seat while driving
  • Find some apps that help pause notifications on your phone while driving
  • Always put on your seatbelt and insist others do the same

Be sure to check out the article with more in-depth information and tips from the distracted driving study.

The Tech That Is Making Car Driving Safer Than Ever Before

The driving of cars, especially when done with the kids in tow, needs to be safe. Simply, cars need to be safe to handle and they need to be kept safely away from all the dangers that the road throws up at them, whether these be other vehicles or faults of nature. And, there is a host of differs pieces of technology that are helping to make car driving safe in this manner. To see just a few pieces of this tech, make sure to read on.

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Adaptive cruise control

Finding and then maintaining a safe driving speed is vital for drivers, and these days their cars can help them do this with ease. Yes, cars can help in the finding of a good and safe cruising limit through the adaptive cruise control technology that is now built into them. What such technology offers those drivers who own cars with this technology built into them is the chance for them to find a driving speed that is safe for them in regards to the road that they are using. Plus, this technology goes even further still as it also adapts to the demands of the road by sensing things around the car, such as traffic, so is also able to calculate a safe speed in regards to that as well.

Lane keep assist

Another piece of technology that uses sensors to create a safe driving experience is lane keep assist. What this particular piece of technology does, well, is pretty obvious after you’ve read it’s name, it keeps you in lane. And, despite sounding like a pretty easy thing to do already even without technology, it’s seriously not. It’s seriously not because any number of things can make a driver deviate from one lane to another, whether it be a distraction or whether it be them falling asleep at the wheel (if that were to ever be the case, the driver should pull into the next service station, grab a coffee, and wait for the boost of energy to kick in). What LKA does specifically is react to the car moving into a lane it shouldn’t be in, notifying the driver straight away should that be the case.

Backup cameras

Another piece of sensory tech that is helping to change the safety of the driving, or in this case the parking, of cars is backup camera technology, such as that offered by vdashcam. What such technology does is alert the driver to anything that is behind their car on in their blindspot thanks to strategically placed cameras around the car and video technology that these cameras feed a feed to. So, no longer would you have to worry about the neighbors cat every time you pull off your drive to go to work of a morning!

Driving needs to be safe, and that is why it is only ever a good thing when another piece of tech makes it that little bit safer. So, embrace this tech, and any more of it that may come in the future!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Driver’s Little Helper

driverslittlehelperlogoSt. Louisan Bob Steffen invented a very interesting product for St. Louis Dad to try out. They sent over this little device called Driver’s Little Helper. Essentially what it is is a bluetooth enabled device that connects to your smart phone and can send you notifications about your child while they are in their car seat.

There are news stories every week about a parent or guardian who has left their child in the car, or a car being too hot, or a child managing to get out of their car seat because they were not buckled in properly. Driver’s Little Helper is set to make it easier for you to know what your child is up to while you are paying attention to the road. The install and setup is really easy. Place the batteries in the device, connect the device to your child’s car seat, place the padded sensor under the fabric of the seat, power on and connect it to your smart phone.

IMG_1595-smallImmediately the devices begins calculating temperature and pressure. The device works with children of any weight so even if you have the tiniest of little ones you can be sure this device will alert you if your child manages to get out of their seat. My son Alex didn’t even realize he was actually sitting on the padded sensor. He is oblivious to the data being sent to dad and mom’s phone and just goes about his day looking out the window or playing with a handful of car toys.

So along with temperature and movement, the device also can let  you know if you somehow managed to forget your precious cargo in the car. I’m not exactly sure how someone can forget their kid in the car but if you are one of those types of parents or guardians, then picking up this device can save your child’s life. We tried it out parked in our own driveway with mom still in the car with Alex and it worked. My iPhone alerted me that I had forgot Alex!

IMG_1800The device itself works exactly as described. It does an excellent job at notifying you if there is a change in weight, temp, or if your car is idle and you had not removed your child from the car seat. I have no complaints about how this product works except for one thing and that is the fact that this relies on you to use an app and to respond to the notifications while in a car. I understand that there wouldn’t be a good way to get a parent this data in another way but I do feel like us as parents bury our faces in our phones far too often already, combine that with driving and you have a deadly mix.

So what do you do if you were to get a notification that your child is out of their seat or is just a little too warm? Do not get flustered swiping and looking at your phone, there is more risk created now that your child is out of their seat and you’re not paying attention to the road. My recommendation for this is simple, be careful. Stay focused on the road and if you need to, pull over if possible. Don’t let the notification be something that takes your attention from the road. Let it be a head’s up that you need to pull over and take care of your baby. DriversLittleHelper.com recommends pulling over to respond to the notifications as well, but sometimes pulling over may not be the safest depending on where you are when you receive the notification. Just remember to be safe when using the device and to follow all rules of the road.

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All in all I think this product is definitely a positive step in the right direction for our technologically connected society. I can imagine that parents would find Driver’s Little Helper to be exactly what they need to make sure their children are safe and comfortable strapped into their car seat. St. Louis’ cold winters and hot summers can be hard on a little one and this can be just one more way to protect the most important thing in your car.

Check out the video below to learn more about Driver’s Little Helper and see what it can do for you!

Your little one grown out of their car seat? They have sensor pads for toddlers!

Connect with Driver’s Little Helper on Twitter and Facebook and download the app from the Android and Apple store today!

St. Louis Dad was provided with a sample product as compensation in exchange for an honest review.  Check out the Driver’s Little Helper website for additional information today!