Keeping Your Passengers Under Control: Children, Pets and Your Car Insurance

Child in car seat

At Bow Valley Insurance we can never stress enough that one of the greatest dangers to Canadian drivers is by distractions. According to provincial statistics, it is estimated that between one-fifth to nearly one-third of all vehicular accidents in Alberta stem from some sort of distraction diverting the driver’s attention from the road.

One of the easiest ways to lower the amount you pay for car insurance premiums is to maintain an accident free driving history. With a good driving record, Bow Valley Insurance uses the power of market competition by accessing up to fifteen major car insurers to compete for your premium dollars.

After inappropriate cell phone use, the biggest distraction to the driver is usually children, a dog loose in the passenger area, or both.

Pleasant Diversions

Everyone who has travelled with school-aged children on a road trip of more than an hour in duration knows first hand just how desperate the situation can get. The refrain, “Are we there yet?!?” is just the tip of the iceberg. More insistent whining, fighting with siblings, and attempting car seat escapes are sure to follow. For infants, as with dogs or other animals that cannot articulate what they want, stopping is often the safest course of action when trying to calm things down.

The good news is that we are living in the golden age of backseat entertainment. All you really need these days is at least one large iPad or other tablet and a seat back mount. DVD and gaming screen systems can fold down from the top  where the central dome light is installed. Kids, and parents have it easy these days if you have even one tablet in your household. Even young infants can be visually distracted with age appropriate programming.

For aural stimulus, many modern cars also come with stereos that feature a standard RCA stereo headphone jack port, and the more expensive ones allow Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones and stereo speaker play from a remote device.

Advice For Travelling Peace

Of course, getting your beloved dog to watch a movie quietly is next to impossible. The good thing going for dog owners and parents is that much of the advice for both classes of driving distractions overlaps.

  • Both children and dogs are creatures of schedule. To the extent you can, keep your trip in rhythm with sleeping, eating, and bathroom breaks. Neither kids nor dogs are accustomed to sitting still for four hours at a time, missing meals, or “holding it,” so don’t make them be extraordinary and take breaks when necessary.
  • When you stop, have something to get the wiggles out. For pets, bring a favourite toy. For kids, bring something like a small toy that everyone can play with for a few minutes.
  • Have some baby wipes handy. Accidents and spills will happen. They are a lot less distressing when you have immediate access to clean up materials.
  • Make sure everyone is buckled up at all times when the vehicle is in motion. Kids who can manipulate their seat belt latches will often take them off or move the straps. Dogs shouldn’t be allowed to freely roam the cabin as it seems inevitable they will want to try to  climb into the front seats.

Minimizing in cabin distractions from children and pets mainly boils down to common sense. Don’t let the stresses & distractions spoil your trip and time together with the family.

We do the shopping for your insurance needs and compare rates and coverages offered by several insurance companies contact Bow Valley Insurance for a free auto insurance quote.