Thursday, December 17, 2009

Are we there yet? - The Season to be Silly

It’s Christmas, the time we go away on holiday, the time we go visit relatives in far flung places, the time we spend far too much of confined in a metal box on wheels, with too many kids screaming “Are we there yet?”

It’s the silly season. The time we make silly decisions and decide that the 1000km drive to Aunty Flo’s place is a great idea. We forget that it would be 40’C in the shade and that the air-conditioning in the car is not what it used to be.

We are silly to assume that the kids would behave. We forgot last year, when we left little Johnny at the rest stop with his big sister. We forgot that the everyone else has the same silly ideas, about going to visit their Aunty Jo.

Are we there yet? – what else can I say?

Some hints and safety tips to ensure you stay on the road and get there in one piece.
1. Make sure the driver is well rested and if possible, both adults should take turns in driving, switching every 2 hours at a rest stop where everyone can stretch their legs.
2. Each person the vehicle must by law have their own seatbelt. DO NOT share seatbelts, that could kill someone, even in a minor accident
3. Each child under the age of 7yo must be in an approved child restraint, the safest position in the car is the centre back seat
4. No children under the age of 12 to ride in the front seat, there is scientific evidence that a child under the age of 12yo, may be grievously harmed by the airbag, which is designed for adults.
5. There is a 35% increase in safety when passengers ride in the backseat!
6. Do not overcrowded the passenger space with luggage, it might be inconvenient, but take a trailer, it doesn't use much more fuel and makes life so much more comfortable(and sane).
7. Allow the children to take 1-2 toys with them, that can be used to amuse them whilst in the car
8. If using portable DVD players etc., make sure you have comfortable ear phones for the children, so you can still have an adult conversation with the driver/passenger
9. Don’t be afraid to stop if you see something interesting. It breaks the journey and doesn’t take that long.
10. Take some food and drink with you, saves money AND time and let’s everyone have something they like and tastes good. Just make sure it is chilled with iceblocks etc.

It’s dangerous out there, take care and remember no-one died being late. Speed kills.


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