The school run starts again soon, with another year of learning shortly to begin.
It can prove to be one of the most hazardous journeys we take in our cars. The distraction of noisy children, along with the hustle and bustle of other parents competing with you for space… it can all add up to trouble on the road.
As such, IAM RoadSmart has advice on how to make this twice-daily journey go as smoothly and as safely as possible.
Driving safely to school
Sit tight, buckle up
Make sure all your children are in their child car seats and that they fit those seats properly.
Ensure they’re strapped in, too. With any luck, they’ll be in so securely they won’t be able to reach each other…
Pack snacks and trinkets to distract them when the going gets stroppy. A bite to eat or something to amuse them should help keep spirits up.
Be the journey long or short, it doesn’t take much for a little one’s mood to change, so back-ups are always good to have.
The best way to set yourself up for a smooth school run is to make sure you’re not in a rush. A ride with time to spare is far more relaxed, for everyone involved.
Rushing about trying to beat the clock can rile up children, while being calm can preserve morale among your tribe.
Slow and steady
Following on from the above, if you’re not rushing, you’re not speeding. A slower car is a safer car, particularly when kids are running around. As many of the signs say, ’20’s plenty’.
Rules of the road
The learning doesn’t have to start on the school premises. Teach your kids as much as you can about road safety as possible. Set a good example as a patient, considerate and observant driver.
You can even park a short distance away when dropping them off, so a brief walk to school can offer a practical demonstration of road safety.
“Traffic always picks up again after the school holidays so your journey will take longer and potentially be more stressful,” said Richard Gladman, head of driving standards at IAM RoadSmart.
“Make sure the car is fuelled up and fit and ready for stop-start traffic so you have one less thing to worry about. Be vigilant around schools as there’s likely to be children getting out of cars or walking to school.”