As a father, the safety of your family will always be the priority. Whether you are comfortably staying at home or having the best time of your lives on a vacation, your spouse and children’s well-being will always be on your mind. It’s second nature to super dads like you. This is especially true when you’re on the road.
The fast and furious phase of your driving life ended the moment you had to put on a car seat for your baby. But even though you drive slowly, stay in your lane, and use signals properly, the danger is still there.
To help you reduce the risks, here are eight driving hacks to keep your family safe on the road.
1. Ease of the brakes
Remember not to step on the brake pads immediately if there’s a tire blowout or a sudden skid on the road. The common instinct would be to hit the brakes and stop the momentum. But imagine doing that while driving at even 50 mph. With the velocity your car is being pushed with, chances of it losing traction on the road, fishtailing, or worse, flipping increases.
Try to slowly hit the gas instead. By giving the car a bit of additional speed, you will get your control back. Once you’ve got control, slowly and gently take your foot off the gas and check for damages.
Pro-tip: Even if you do not crash on anything, you and your family might still get hurt due to the whiplash caused by the sudden change in acceleration. Make sure you get your bodies checked and if needed, get whiplash treatment as soon as possible.
2. Be cautious with music
When you’re driving, music can help calm your mind and keep you awake at the same time. However, just like how listening to your jams keep you entertained while you exercise, music can also drown your focus while driving. If you get too immersed in the entertainment, you might lose track of what’s happening around you. And if you play it loudly, you might not hear the sound of other cars.
3. Adjust your mirrors
This is one of the most basic tasks to ensure your safety. But it’s also one of the most underrated acts that drivers forget. If you’ve been driving for quite some time, you’d know about blind spots. Inaccurate and inefficient side mirror angles are one of the most common causes of vehicular accidents.
Make sure your side mirrors are angled away from you. The best metric for this is the visibility of your car. If you can no longer see parts of your car in the reflection, then you’d have a full vision of the space around your car. That means fewer chances of bender fenders.
4. Don’t be too dependent on road signs
Road signs are helpful. They are there to guide and warn you about the terrain and traffic. But being too reliant on them might cause complacency that would be harmful in times and places where road signs aren’t present.
Practice being attentive on the road itself and the traffic on it. Sharpen your senses and intuition by being alert at all times with or without traffic signs to guide you.
5. Don’t be glued to the GPS
GPS apps have been developed to give audio guidance for this exact reason. Looking at the GPS too much means not looking on the road. Digital maps can help you get to where you want to go, but until the GPS technology has developed enough to show everything on the road in real-time, focusing on the physical road should be prioritized.
6. Judge the book by its cover
Being judgmental is a bad trait. But it might keep your family safe as you drive. Judge a driver’s skills and safety habits by checking the car’s appearance. More often than not, people who spend time maintaining their cars’ appearance are more cautious on the road. If they can’t stand dirt on the wheels, they won’t want to get the car scratched.
Of course, accidents happen no matter how meticulous you are of your car’s look. But slowly driving away from banged-up cars won’t hurt you.
7. Prioritize maintenance
Speaking of keeping your car beautiful, making sure your car is in tip-top shape is also important. You wouldn’t want to have her breaking down in the middle of the fast lane. Just like your body, your car needs constant checkups and maintenance.
Get your wheels, engine, and everything else checked regularly. Testing them for a bit before going on long drives can also help. Don’t cheap out on maintenance. Think of it as an investment in your family’s safety.
8. Don’t forget to breathe
Multiple factors can make driving stressful. To avoid road rage and make sound decisions on the road, make sure to give yourself time to breathe.
Pro-tip: In case you’re in an accident, make sure to breathe first, collect your thoughts, and observe your surroundings even for 5 seconds before doing anything. Most of the time, reacting immediately can also pose dangers to those with you. That’s why the EMT suggests that the bodies of people in road accidents should not be moved before they arrive.
One for the road
Remember that a single misstep can lead to unforeseen consequences. For the safety of your family and all the other families, don’t drive when you’re intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics. Being a father is a big responsibility, especially on the road.