Parenthood When Driving

25 Apr

road trip journal

Motors.co.uk have compiled a survey called “Driven to Distraction” in order to illustrate the ways in which parents are distracted by their children while driving.

The Problems  

“96% of parents are distracted whilst driving through their kids being too noisy or arguing with siblings”

This is such a common problem that experts say is often best dealt with by pulling over and refusing to continue the journey until order is resumed. This is especially effective when the destination itself is a cause for excitement.

“Over 50% of parents are distracted by having to deal with children causing spillages and mess or vomiting”

Pretty much every parent in the western world will be familiar with child-related spillages – children are just clumsy and lack the same self-conscious array of learned decorum that is expected of adults. However, steps can be taken to ensure that mess is minimised: these include avoiding giving anything sticky or that has the potential for permanent staining while in the car. There are also caddies available than can help

Vomiting is very likely the cause of motion sickness which can be treated with anti-travel sickness medication. Making sure your child is secure in his or her seat, and that the car is not too warm or too cold can help, as can generating a fresh supply of air around the inside of the car.

“2 in 10 parents have had to deal with kids throwing things around whilst they were driving”

The simple solution here is to make sure that everything that they can possibly throw is out of reach.

“83% of parents have had to stop their child opening car doors whilst in motion, leaning out of windows and attempting to get out from their seats”.

There has been a solution available for the opening of car doors for decades in the form of child-locks with which all modern cars will be equipped. Similarly, modern cars are equipped with a function to stop windows being controlled from the back seat which is an obvious solution to the problem, of children opening windows.

“Over 50% of parents have caught their child unfastening their seatbelt or safety harness”

There are devices available that can stop children from taking off their seatbelts, which are available for £10-15. These include the Houdini Stop and the Bee Safe Belt.

Common Solutions in the Motors.co.uk survey

70% take a break within two hours of embarking on a journey to make sure that the children do not get too bored, which is also advisable for comfort as well as guarding against boredom. Although as Money Supermarket points out, beware of the extra cost of fuel that could arise from deliberately keeping your fuel supply low in order to facilitate the breaks at filling stations.

80% of those surveyed by Motors.co.uk said that they had used music or DVDs to pacify their children, whereas 60% of parents used tablets computers or games systems, and 35% initiated games of Eye-Spy. Experts say that these are all effective methods of dealing with bad behavior, because for the most part it is boredom that that is at the core of the problem.

If you are concerned about the cost of these extra gadgets, don’t be as such things can purchased for not a great deal of money. This should come as a relief in the midst of the current recession, as should the cancellation of recent plans to increase fuel duty 40% rely on rewarding good behavior with a bag of sweets, which some experts say can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, as it is a necessity and not a reward.

This post was submitted by Michael, a freelance writer from England.

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