We drive in the car a lot. We try and visit family regularly who live either 4 hours away by car alone or 7 hours in the car plus a boat journey. And we drive a lot everyday of the week to the childminders and back so I’d like to think I’m a safe driver with all the practice I have. My husband commutes to work but he does this alone. To be honest sometimes I find myself half jealous of him heading off into an hour long commute that includes traffic. Why I hear you ask?! Because he gets to have some head space and just listen to the radio. And I’m not the only parent in the world to think that this driving time is his down time, a survey by Chill Insurance recently found that 25% of parents consider driving as their quiet time. Me on the other hand find driving stressful – I’m bombarded with questions and requests and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming as I’m captive audience for an inquisitively minded three year old. I try not to turn around to the girls when I’m driving, and certainly I don’t do it on the back roads near our home but on the big open roads I have to admit I do cast them the odd cursory glance. Clearly I’m not alone, Chill Insurance found that 56% of parents use their rearview mirror to talk to kids in the back “Children can be a big distraction for motorists. Although it may be tempting to check the rear view mirror to keep an eye on kids in the back seat, it’s much safer to rely on verbal communication and keep your eyes firmly on the road ahead of you.” I for the most part try not to look around, the girls are big enough now that they can communicate with me by speech and I don’t need to check them during the short trip to the minders.
Probably the most surprisingly (and secretly I’m impressed at all those parents that appear to have far more clout than me in my own car) is that only 8% of Irish parents say the kids’ get to choose what music or radio station is on in the car whilst driving! What am I doing wrong?! I go to work haunted by the sound of jazzy nursery rhymes that seem to stick in my head for hours afterwards, or at least until its almost time to go home and the whole process begins again!
So please be careful on the roads, I for one will try and be an extremely safe driver and will not be glancing at the girls in the mirror tomorrow, and maybe I’ll even insist on choosing the music that’s played….but probably not!
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