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How Having a Baby Has Changed the Way I Drive

I consider myself to be a pretty good driver. I scored a 91/100 on my driving test, losing 2 points for being TOO cautious at an intersection and 7 points for parking. Yea, the parking thing stung a little. I was driving my dad’s truck for my test and parking that in straight spaces, well, it didn’t go well. But I have since greatly improved my parking and can now fit my little car into just about any space without difficulty.

I grew up in Southern California, so I know how to manage freeway driving. I’m also well acquainted with traffic and transitions between big interstates. I didn’t even flinch when I realized that a trip to my MIL’s last week would require traveling on the 10, 215, 91, 15, 605, 105, 405 and 90 freeways. For one trip.

But in the 4 months since I’ve had Eli, I’ve noticed a stark change in my driving, sometimes even when he’s not in the car.

I used to be a bit of an aggressive driver. I have a real issue with people who think that they are allowed to drive slower than the speed limit in the left-most or carpool lanes. Prior to getting pregnant, I had a tendency to, well, tailgate. Never super close, but close enough that they knew I wanted them to speed up.

Once I got pregnant, and especially once Eli was here, that ceased. But that isn’t all of it. I find myself driving defensively now. I watch other cars and drivers, hyperaware of where they might go next. I am always making sure cars know I’m in their blind spots and make ample use of my horn, but ONLY when necessary to prevent a collision.

I’m no longer driving offensively, I’m on high alert. I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter how safely I drive, if someone else isn’t. And so I pay close attention. I keep safe distances at all times in case of a quick slow down. I take extra care to make sure I have an out if needed.

I realize now that how I used to drive wasn’t just endangering me and my passengers, but also the people around me. So now I take extra care to watch out for others, the people who are just like the way I was, just 4 short months ago.

Are you baby safety savvy? We’re giving away two Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant car seats! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you keep baby safe in the car.

The content and viewpoints expressed here within are solely that of the originators. Graco’s sponsorship does not imply endorsement of any opinions or information provided and we do not assume responsibility for the accuracy of the content provided. Please always consult a professional for matters related to your child’s well-being. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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