Last night while driving home from Craft-n-Camp I came across a SUV doing 5 under the speed limit in the center lane. He was swerving all over the road. Just when it looked like he was changing lanes he would pull back into his lane; then he would go the other way. Several times he crossed 6" or so into the lane on either side. When I was sure it wasn't a one time deal I called 911. I told the dispatcher the person was either tired or drunk, either way they were all over the road. Maybe six times while I was on the phone with them the SUV almost hit someone. Thankfully the other people on the road noticed the bad driving and would dodge the auto and quickly get out of the way. While on the phone I passed a State Trooper, but sadly he didn't notice the terrible driver. Finally a Sheriffs car drove up beside me then slipped behind the SUV, moments later a second one came up. They watched the car for a few seconds, noting he really was swerving, then pulled him over. A few minutes later I get a call back thanking me for reporting the dangerous driver. The guy went on to say it turned out the guy wasn't drunk, but dealing with two little kids in the back seat who weren't thrilled about being back there. Uhmmm... Excuse me? For at least 15 miles you will swerve in and out of lanes while fighting or "dealing" with your preschoolers?
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, idiot parents and grandparents listen up. It is NEVER okay to deal with a child or children while driving in such a way that leaves you swerving all over the road, almost causing half a dozen accidents. I don't want to hear excuses. The whole time I was following the SUV I was rattling off all the exit numbers we were passing. The guy had maybe five chances (from when I came upon him already swerving) to get off the interstate, but he didn't. He felt it would be better to drive and try to stay on the road.
LISTEN UP caretakers
- It's perfectly okay to let a child cry IN THEIR CAR SEAT while you get them to a safe place with the car stopped to deal with them. I have driven many times with Kaitlyn screaming in the backseat. Guess what? She's perfectly safe. She's usually just tired when this happens. If your nerves can't handle the screaming put some music on and crank it up. Sing along and try to tune the child out. You will serve them better by ignoring them then trying to cater to them, when they are probably just tired (or a brat), rather then getting into an accident. I was talking with a family member earlier who said when a certain child rides with them, they will cry until their mother takes them out of their car seat. Idiot! You can see my thoughts in the third point on the seat belt subject.
- It's okay to tell the child they can wait until you arrive at your destination or are able to pull over before you retrieve a toy (or other object) that is out of both yours and their reach. Kaitlyn knows this rule well. Sure she would like the toy back, but if I can't get it... to bad.
- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take your seat belt off to get ANYTHING for a child while the car is in motion. I can't tell you how much I think you are a horrible parent if you do this. First off accidents are just that, an accident. You rarely have fair warning before a crash happens. Heaven forbid an accident does happen while you have carelessly taken your seat belt off and your body flies around the car killing the very child you are trying to get a toy, cup, or some other object for. It's not worth some one's life for you to retrieve an item. I know not all states have a law stating everyone in the car must wear a seat belt. However, as long as you are in my car or my child is in the car I FULLY expect EVERYONE in the car will have their seat belt on for the duration of the ride. Secondly, the foolish adult who takes off their seat belt teaches the child or children it's okay for them to do it too. I've been in the car with dumb adults who've taken their seat belt off for some stupid reason only to have a child follow suit a few minutes later. Foolish, foolish, foolish.
You are not above the law nor death. You control what kids learn and their safety in learning it. Be a good example. Let the child cry it out. Arrive safe. Arrive alive.
Kaitlyn Joy in her car seat for the first time at five days old.