13 Ways to Stay Safer on the Streets

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Girl in bike helmet, riding a bike, and looking back at the camera.
A year ago today, car and street safety was heavy on my mind. We had watched the movie Bella the same week that Maria Chapman passed away in a tragic auto accident. Talk about a sobering week.

Counting six little heads when we’re out and about is my habit, but all the more so when we’re on the road or near cars and streets. While it’s true that we can’t control every circumstance or avoid every tragedy, we can do what we can do to make the streets safer for our families and for someone else’s.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Always wear a helmet when biking, skating, and scootering. Make sure your kiddos (and hubby) do, too.

2. Hang up your cell phone and stop texting. Even if you’re a pedestrian, it makes sense to pay full attention to the cars around you and your little ones. Sit in your parked car and finish your conversation before trying to herd your children into the store while talking on your phone.

3. Make sure everyone’s seat belt is fastened. Don’t even start the car until that has been established.

4. Avoid distractions when driving. Talk to your kids about toning down the music, the chatter, the bickering, in order for you to fully concentrate on your driving.

5. Hold your child’s hand when crossing the street or parking lot. Little ones can bolt from your side faster than you can say, “Hop diggity.” Keep a firm grasp on their paws until you reach your destination.

Line of boys riding bikes on a trail through the grass.

6. Teach your kids to be mindful of cars. Explain to even the littlest ones what you are doing when you look both ways and around corners for approaching traffic. They’ll learn what they live, so make safe crossing a lifestyle.

7. Hang up your cell phone and stop texting. Nothing is too important that you can’t wait until you stop your car.

8. If you’re going someplace you’ve never been, use google maps or mapquest to determine the best route — ahead of time. Read through the directions before you leave so that you have a sense of the directions.

9. Don’t be a lookyloo. Whether it’s an accident or just something cool to look at, don’t slow down and risk an accident because you’re gawking at the scenery. If it’s truly worth your time, pull over instead of trying to multitask behind the wheel.

Kids on ride at Legoland.

10. Likewise, don’t shriek, “Oh my gosh!” and nearly give your husband reason to slam on the brakes just because you see that a CVS is being built a mile from your home.

11. Get ready before you hit the road. Makeup application is best done at home in the bathroom not in the rearview mirror.

12. Keep your vehicle gassed up and in good working condition. Learn to check the fluids and tires yourself so that you’re not stuck with an emergency in the middle of traffic.

13. Did I mention hang up your cell phone and stop texting?

Got another reminder that we could all benefit from? How do you try to be safer behind the wheel?

For more Thursday13, visit Happy To Be At Home.

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  1. Great points. All simple things that could save a life!!

  2. I just read an article that said 25% of people text while driving. Scary!! Thanks for this list.

  3. Great list! We can never be too careful.

    My husband thanks you for #10.:-)

  4. We have lots of littles in our neighborhood and one of our main priorities when backing out of the driveway is to make sure that if our neighbor or across the street neighbor’s kids are outside, that we make a headcount of where they all our (including my own) before backing out of the driveway. It’s also a good idea to make sure the parent outside with them sees that you’re leaving and gets a hand on each of their litte ones.

  5. After little Maria’s accident, I’m sure that we all dealt with a little bit of healthy paranoia for a while. Thank you for this reminder!

  6. Great tips! I was in a major car accident 2 years ago almost from someone rear ending me because they were on their phone and not paying attention. My car was totaled and I’ve been in pain ever since. Ugh! If my kids are in the car, they will grab the phone and take a message or relay one for me.

  7. I have my 4yo trained to call out the speed limit as he sees the signs. I’m particularly prone to speeding anyway, but having that little voice remind me can’t hurt! Plus, I feel like it teaches him to be aware of these limits…

    Also, it’s so obvious I wish I didn’t have to mention it, but… Don’t Smoke With Kids in the Car!! If you really can’t kick the habit, at least do it away from your kids. Breaks my heart to see little ones strapped in car seats in a vehicle filled with smoke…