DRIVERS are in shock after discovering seven little-known mistakes while driving with children that could cost them a £1,000 fine.
With many families looking to take a road trip this summer, parents have been urged to avoid common driving mistakes that could lead to a serious accident and a fine.
Handy, experts from Quotezone.co.uk have highlighted seven common driving mistakes many parents make, unaware of how dangerous they can be.
Improper use of a car seat
It is important to follow car seat manufacturer guidelines and the law to ensure children are properly restrained.
Car seats must be used for children up to 12 years of age or 135 cm tall, and babies under 15 months must be placed in a rear-facing car seat.
However, for maximum safety, it is recommended to leave them rear-facing for as long as possible.
Failure to comply with these rules can result in a fine of up to £500 and license points.
Car seat not securely installed
More than half, namely 56%, of child car seats are incorrectly installed.
If the car seat is slightly loose, it is a sign that the seat is either not compatible with the car or is not installed correctly.
Parents should follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when installing or have the car seat professionally installed the first time.
It is also recommended to vacuum and reinstall a car seat regularly to ensure it is not loose and food debris is not interfering with the buckles.
Loose items in the car
Loose objects in the car can become projectiles in a sudden maneuver or accident and pose a hazard to passengers, especially children, as they can cause serious injury if they hit someone.
Beverages should be placed in cup holders, phones should be securely stowed in a holder and other loose items should be kept in the trunk or in sealed compartments and never left on the parcel shelf.
If a vehicle is traveling at 55 miles per hour at the time of a collision, a 20 pound object in the car will be hit with a force of 1,000 pounds.
Carrying bulky clothing in the car seat
Bulky clothing such as coats should not be carried in the car seat as they leave extra space under the belt and the child may slip through the belts in a crash.
That’s because the mantle adds extra volume that can compress in a crash.
Instead, to keep kids warm, parents should dress them in thin layers and use a blanket or car seat cover over the harness.
Child lock not activated
Children may be curious or accidentally open the car door while driving, which can result in an accident or be considered careless driving by the police, which can result in a large fine and driver’s license points.
Child locks are also useful in situations where children may exit the car unaware of the potential dangers around them, such as when the vehicle is parked in busy areas or near traffic.
Drivers can be distracted by their children’s behavior in the car, whether it’s addressing their needs or trying to calm them down.
However, it is important to stay focused on the road to operate the vehicle safely.
In such cases, it is better to stop and attend to the needs of the children before setting off again.
Drive when you’re tired
Exhausted parents should never get behind the wheel, because tiredness can have a negative effect on their reaction time and their ability to concentrate as well as safely navigating traffic.
If you feel drowsy along the way, it’s best to find a safe place to stop and take a break before continuing your journey.
This comes after car experts warned simple mistakes could result in fines of up to £2,500 in this summer’s wedding season.
Also, a car expert has warned motorists their summer wardrobe could cost them a £5,000 fine.