Peter Rodger, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM's) head of driving standards reminds us this week that no matter how difficult it sounds, the driver's duty is to the road and road users first - the children second.
He says, "Any problem the children have can be dealt with when the car is stationary, and should never be dealt with on the move. Easier said than done, but it is the only way."
Here are some helpful tips from the IAM:
Seatbelts on!If you’re travelling with children under the age of three years you must use a child restraint. Children three years and above must be placed in a booster seat, safely secured with a seatbelt. Make sure you make the appropriate adjustments before you start your journey. If you’re using a child restraint,check whether it needs to be front-facing or rear-facing beforehand.
Everyone comfy?Avoid placing large and heavy objects or luggage on the rear seat where your children will be seated.
Be preparedMake sure you have packed important items for your journey including a fully charged mobile phone, first aid kit, water, blanket and high-visibility jackets – you may need these items if you’re vehicle breaks down and you are waiting for help to arrive.
Fun and gamesThink about what games your children can take with them on long journeys to keep them occupied. If they will be using a portable device or in-car DVD player, make sure they have headphones plugged in so the sound doesn’t distract you.
Take a breakThe longer you’re on the road, the higher the likelihood your children could become irritable. Plan to take regular rest breaks at least every two hours so you can rest and they can release some energy.
Travel with a friendIf you can, travel with another adult passenger who can keep an eye on the youngsters. This will allow you to fully concentrate on the road and prevent them distracting you.
'Have a word' when safeNever turn around to deal with fighting youngsters while you are driving. Always find a safe place to stop first. Don’t continue your journey with children fighting in the back – it may affect your behaviour behind the wheel.
The Good Garage Scheme would like to wish everyone a happy and safe summer holiday.
Make sure to visit your local Good Garage Scheme member to check your vehicle is ready for the road.