How to drive with kids in the car

No kids involved, but this is what happens when you don't pay attention while driving...

Children in the car are the number one distraction for drivers, according to a survey by the IAM and Vision Critical, which found that 29% of drivers admit that their children are their biggest distraction while driving. 

29% of drivers admit that their children are their biggest distraction while driving

You could feed your kids tranquilisers before every journey, or put a gag on them, but for some reason these measures are actively discouraged by police forces around the UK. So just how do you keep your sanity when driving with kids? In association with the IAM, we’ve come up with some survival tactics: 

  • Keep them occupied by introducing games that promote and reward quiet behaviour without needing the driver's direct involvement.

  • Portable games consoles or in-car DVD players will keep kids occupied for hours. But don't forget the headphones - the soundtracks can be just as distracting as the children.

  • If you’re planning a long journey, make sure you're organised – take plenty of food and drink to avoid constant demands from the back seats.

  • Allow extra stops. Find somewhere for them to stretch their legs and let off steam, such as a playground or a park. Save yourself the panic and research some local parks and playgrounds where you plan to stop off.

  • Have a plastic bag (without any holes!) with you in case of travel sickness.

  • A second adult in the car to look after the children makes a massive difference, leaving the driver to concentrate on driving.

  • Don't turn round to deal with fighting kids while you're still in motion – find somewhere safe to stop first.