Jump to Tips Navigation
Yes, much of this is common sense. But it never hurts to be reminded or to have a list to check.
- Always drive carefully.
- Ensure that the vehicle is in good condition (see spring car maintenance tips).
- Supervise young children closely when using public restrooms.
- Covering the seats with seat covers and a blanket under the seat cover makes it much softer and protects the seats from spills.
- Try to have an extra set of car keys available just in case.
- Cover the floor of the vehicle with plastic floor runners.
- Place curtains or shades on the passenger windows – this is especially helpful for young children when they are sleeping to keep the sun out of their eyes.
- Fill the car with gas the day before your trip.
- Take a break every two hours. Look for a rest area or a park for some fresh air.
- Drink some fluids to avoid dehydration and crankiness.
- To avoid spillage - bring drinks in spill proof containers.
- Practice sun safety for everyone's eyes on sunny days.
- Make sure the travel first-aid kit is handy.
- Try to plan travel times around a large city to avoid the rush hours.
- Practice defensive driving to help keep everyone safe.
- Have one parent/adult be in charge of driving, as it requires a lot of concentration. The other can look after directions and keeping the kids occupied and happy.
- Never leave children in a parked car. Heat in a parked car is very dangerous. When the outside temperature is 93 F, even with a window cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 125 F in just 20 minutes and approximately 140 F in 40 minutes. Many parents mistakenly think they can leave a child in a vehicle while running a “quick” errand. Unfortunately, a delay of just a few minutes can lead to tragedy. Heat is much more dangerous to children than it is to adults. When left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s core body temperature can increase three to five times faster than that of an adult, causing permanent injury or death.
- It is not just enough to make sure that everyone in the vehicle has a seat belt. As parents we need to ensure that each occupant and especially children are secured in a proper and safe seat. Make sure that you are using the correct type and size of seat for the child.
- Never use a child safety seat that is 10 years old or older. Check for recall notices periodically. Any seat that has been in an accident should be discarded properly. Take advantage of any safety programs that check the installation of car seats in your area.
- Children should always be placed in rear seats, and never place rear-facing infant seats in the front seat.
- Don't let children have latex balloons, small toys or food that can cause choking in the car. Ensure that young children and infants have toys that are safe with no small pieces to choke on. Teach children not to chew crayons.
- Never store a barbecue tank in the car, especially during hot weather.
- Lock door while traveling and when you leave the car - but make sure you have the keys first. Never leave children in a car alone.
- Have an emergency car kit with flashlight, blankets and basic tools.
- Make sure roof racks and luggage, etc, carried on the roof is secure.