Driven to Distraction

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If asked what can detract attention away from a driver’s main task of actually driving, you may say mobile phones, smoking, eating etc, and a simple answer as to how to prevent such distractions is to just not take that call, light that cigarette or eat that snack until the car is safely parked. But what about distractions you can’t avoid?

We’ve all seen it out on the roads, drivers…..

Talking on the phone, texting, eating and even getting ready…

We all know the consequences of such distractions if things go wrong. Whilst it is easy to prevent these types of distractions by just not partaking in the activity, there is a distraction that ALL parents encounter whilst driving – children!

Shocking statistics, from a survey conducted by Nissan, have revealed 72% of British parents admit they struggle to fully concentrate on the road when their children are misbehaving in the car, with a worrying 40% admitting they’re less safe behind the wheel as a result. As well as taking their eyes off the road and their hands off the steering wheel, driving mishaps include running through red traffic lights, forgetting to indicate, braking suddenly and swerving into the other lanes.

With backseat battles, screaming tantrums, undoing their seat belts/harnesses and throwing toys around the car, it’s no surprise, that as a result, parents say they regularly feel stressed and anxious when their kids are in the car, with some admitting to arriving at their destination either late or in a bad mood. Others say their kids’ in-car behaviour has led to fights with their partner or road rage incidents with other drivers.

So, what can we done to ease this problem?

If you’re planning a long journey, get organised – 

  • Plan the journey to include plenty of stops. Toilet/changing facilities are crucial but also consider places where the children can stretch their legs and let off steam, such as a playground or a park.
  • Let the kids have a role in planning where to go – this will keep them excited, providing them with something to look forward to.
  • Take plenty of food and drink to avoid constant demands from the back seats. Hungry kids are noisy and irritable kids!
  • Don’t forget to bring your child’s favourite ‘comfort toys’ to provide a sense of familiarity and security
  • Keep them occupied by introducing games that promote and reward quiet behaviour without needing the driver’s direct involvement. ‘I spy’ is a good option for both younger and older children, as it is creative but doesn’t involve any moving around or loud shouting!
  • Games and movies on tablets or smartphones will keep kids occupied for hours, but don’t forget the headphones! The soundtracks and sound effects can be just as distracting as the children themselves.
  • Experiment with different types of music in the car to identify what will keep your little ones entertained.

If they do begin to squabble, ignore it whilst you’re driving. Don’t turn around to deal with fighting children while you’re still in motion – find somewhere to stop first.

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Driven to Distraction

If asked what can detract attention away from a driver’s main task of actually driving, you may say mobile phones, smoking, eating etc, and a simple answer as to how to prevent such distractions is to just not take that call, light that cigarette or eat that snack until the car is safely parked. But what about distractions you can’t avoid?

We’ve all seen it out on the roads, drivers…..

Talking on the phone, texting, eating and even getting ready…

We all know the consequences of such distractions if things go wrong. Whilst it is easy to prevent these types of distractions by just not partaking in the activity, there is a distraction that ALL parents encounter whilst driving – children!

Shocking statistics, from a survey conducted by Nissan, have revealed 72% of British parents admit they struggle to fully concentrate on the road when their children are misbehaving in the car, with a worrying 40% admitting they’re less safe behind the wheel as a result. As well as taking their eyes off the road and their hands off the steering wheel, driving mishaps include running through red traffic lights, forgetting to indicate, braking suddenly and swerving into the other lanes.

With backseat battles, screaming tantrums, undoing their seat belts/harnesses and throwing toys around the car, it’s no surprise, that as a result, parents say they regularly feel stressed and anxious when their kids are in the car, with some admitting to arriving at their destination either late or in a bad mood. Others say their kids’ in-car behaviour has led to fights with their partner or road rage incidents with other drivers.

So, what can we done to ease this problem?

If you’re planning a long journey, get organised – 

  • Plan the journey to include plenty of stops. Toilet/changing facilities are crucial but also consider places where the children can stretch their legs and let off steam, such as a playground or a park.
  • Let the kids have a role in planning where to go – this will keep them excited, providing them with something to look forward to.
  • Take plenty of food and drink to avoid constant demands from the back seats. Hungry kids are noisy and irritable kids!
  • Don’t forget to bring your child’s favourite ‘comfort toys’ to provide a sense of familiarity and security
  • Keep them occupied by introducing games that promote and reward quiet behaviour without needing the driver’s direct involvement. ‘I spy’ is a good option for both younger and older children, as it is creative but doesn’t involve any moving around or loud shouting!
  • Games and movies on tablets or smartphones will keep kids occupied for hours, but don’t forget the headphones! The soundtracks and sound effects can be just as distracting as the children themselves.
  • Experiment with different types of music in the car to identify what will keep your little ones entertained.

If they do begin to squabble, ignore it whilst you’re driving. Don’t turn around to deal with fighting children while you’re still in motion – find somewhere to stop first.

BACK TO BLOG