The ultimate run…the school run
The summer holidays are coming to an end and the school run is going to be in the forefront of many parent’s minds. Regardless of the amount of years you have been on the road, early-morning starts see a lot of drivers distracted and in a hurry. This poses additional risks for students and others who are walking, cycling and driving in the area.
Here are some back-to-school driving tips from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.
- Give yourself time. A rushed breakfast, forgotten school lunches and half-dressed kids can put you in the wrong frame of mind.
- If you use child or booster seats, check they are still fit for purpose and correctly secured. Check out Good Egg for some top tips: http://www.goodeggcarsafety.com/
- Consider how you park and don’t obstruct crossings or use the ‘zig zag’ “no-waiting” areas directly outside the school.
- Keep an eye out for your blind spots when moving off. Children are thinking about their friends and the day ahead and not your car as they rush to the school gate.
- Be alert and ready to stop. Children can be very unpredictable – they are likely to be concentrating on other things and don’t always have the experience to judge your speed.
- Watch out for cyclists. Children on bikes are often inexperienced and might have a few wobbles. Slow down and allow plenty of space between your vehicle and the cyclists. If in doubt, wait.
- Twenty is plenty. Speed limits in school zones are lower for a reason, and remember it is a limit not a target
- Advise your young ones about road safety. Simply looking right then left (then right again for us Green X coders) can save lives. Take time to show them the right thing to do and remember if you run or ignore the red man they will too.
Richard said: “Making a few simple changes to our driving can help keep our ‘precious cargo’ – as well as other peoples’ – safe. Consider parking a short distance away from the school and completing the journey on foot. It will reduce the parking congestion in the school area and may benefit our health into the bargain.”