The truth is that your kids learn more from your behaviour than you think they do.
Positive role modelling by parents of 5-12 year olds has the potential to have a huge influence on their child’s future driving behaviour.
It’s important to try and set a positive example when driving – practicing patience with other road users and refraining from acts of anger behind the wheel can have a big effect.
How can you be a good role model?
– Respect the road. This starts with teaching children how to cross safely, all the way to following laws while behind the wheel. Show your children that the rules are there for a reason, and lead by example.
– Avoid bad habits. Children pick up on smaller details that you might not think about – eating or drinking while driving, or using your mobile phone can all set a precedent that these are okay to do.
– Pay attention. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by reaching around the vehicle or turning to speak to people in the back of your vehicle. You can make it clear that driving is important and needs full attention.
– Deal with accidents. If you are involved in a road traffic collision when driving with your child, calmly talk to the other road user and take down all the information you need including date and time of incident, name of driver, vehicle registration and insurance details. The calmer and less agitated you seem, the better an impression you’ll leave.
– Maintain a safe vehicle. Just as important as the driving itself is your attitude towards it. Ensure you maintain your vehicle regularly, making sure levels are topped up and that damage is repairs as soon as possible. Not only is it safer for you and your family, but the example you set as a responsible driver is likely to encourage your children to do the same when they themselves get behind the wheel.