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Safe Driving Habits For New Parents on a Budget
Sure, you may have been driving for a decade or more, but you’ve never carried cargo quite this precious. When you have a baby, everything changes, and that includes how you feel and behave behind the wheel. In a world where you can’t go a day without seeing someone texting and driving, the road is a dangerous place. It’s up to you to make tweaks to your own driving habits that will give you and your newest passenger the best chance of arriving at your destination safely. So here are some tips from Top Car Accessory to help you do just that!
Say Goodbye To Distractions
One driving force behind roadway accidents is in-vehicle distractions. The most prevalent is your phone. If you have the new iPhone 11, which comes standard with iOS 11, you can set your phone to Do Not Disturb. Apple explains that this feature keeps your screen dark and automatically sends a message to anyone texting you while your vehicle is in motion.
Many Android models, like the Google Pixel, are compatible with Android Auto, which is similar to Apple’s Do Not Disturb and locks your screen when you’re driving. It also simplifies your display when you must use your device. Make it a point to compare phones and providers so that you get the most for your money. That way, when your little one is snoozing in the back, you can focus on the road without trouble.
Make sure that your vehicles are safely stored. Building a garage is a good idea for those who don’t have one and will also help raise the value of your home. Storing your vehicle in your garage will reduce any damage related to leaving your car out in the elements, not to mention lower the risk of street parking-related misfortunes.
Harness Your Tech
Driving and texting or talking is absolutely unsafe. However, that does not mean that your phone can’t come in handy on the road. If an in-dash GPS is out of your price range or your vehicle does not have an infotainment system installed, your phone can function as a navigation device. On top of that, your smartphone can pull double duty as a music player in those moments when your backseat passenger needs to hear a soothing melody.
Know Your Tires
If you think of your tires as simply the part of your car that touches the road, it’s time to look at them in a different light. Your tires are your first line of defense against an accident. If they are worn, the best brakes in the world may not keep them from skidding across the road. Firestone explains that there are three ways to determine if it’s time to fork out the cash for replacements. These are tread wear, tire age, and exposure to the elements.
Many manufacturers suggest swapping your tires at about six years. Some tires may safely carry your family for up to 10 years if you don’t drive that often. Tires can be pretty expensive, but they are well worth the investment. Do your research and make sure to compare tire store prices because not all are created equal.
Pick The Right Car Seat
In the world of car seats, there are people who believe expensive equates to safety, and there are also those who are happy to install whatever happens to be on sale. The truth is that the right car seat could fall into either of these categories.
All car seats are required to meet National Highway Transportation Safety Administration guidelines. Because of this, each provides about the same as far as safety. However, the NHTSA does rate how easy they are to use, so choose your car seat based on your comfort level, not on the price tag. If the $75 car seat is handy for you to carry and install, be at peace knowing that your child is just as safe as if traveling in a $500 “luxury” brand.
It should come as no surprise that reducing your stress levels makes you safer on the road. Sometimes, though, that’s easier said than done. Luckily, there are a variety of stress-reducing tactics you can try, from deep breathing and mindfulness to simply taking a break, that can help keep your family safe.
Often, we overlook the fact that reducing our stress at home makes us less likely to be stressed when we leave home. In other words, do everything you can to turn your home into an environment conducive to wellness by reducing clutter and negative thinking. That’ll give you a big advantage when you go out into the world.
You don’t need to be reminded that your baby is your future. Ensuring your little one’s safety on the road is a priority, but you don’t have to drain your child’s college funds to do it. Keep in mind that your safe driving habits will not only help protect you and your family, but may also lower your insurance rates. Furthermore, you will be less likely to have to spring for busted headlights, dented doors, and other damage that can be avoided with safe practices.