It’s back-to-school time, and for many parents, this means carpooling. Before you start driving children to and from school, it’s important that your car is in good condition and that you know the proper safety guidelines to ensure you and the kids you are driving around stay safe. Below are some tips to carpool safely while you are keeping up with the kids’ busy schedule.
1) Plan and Make a Schedule
Before you begin carpooling, make sure you discuss the driving schedule with all involved parents so everyone knows where they are going and who is picking up the kids on each day. If you don’t communicate this beforehand, things can get confusing and parents could end up mixing up days or where each child has to go. A good idea is for each parent to have a printed schedule.
2) Buckle Up
Buckling up will ensure all passengers have a safe car ride. This means you as well. Chances are, if you are not putting your seatbelt on, your teens won’t either. Set good examples to keep your kids safe. Buckle up and ensure all passengers do as well before you begin driving.
3) Practice Safe Driving
Driving safely also means practicing safe behavior. Your passengers are watching you while you drive, so be sure to model safe behavior while you drive. Don’t take phone calls or text while driving. Make sure music is not playing too loud. Enter everyone’s addresses into your GPS before you start driving. By practicing safe driving behaviors, you are also teaching the kids smart and safe driving so they are prepared for when they start to drive. Also, before you begin any carpooling partnership, be sure to learn about the safety practices and driving habits of the other carpooling parents.
4) Obey Speed Limits
It’s important that you obey all speed limits, especially the school zones since there could be children crossing the crosswalks or leaving the sidewalks. The mornings can be congested with parents bringing their kids to school. Slow down and be extra cautious. Stay alert to other vehicles suddenly stopping to let their kids out or slowing down.
5) Prepare your Car for Rain
There could be times where you will be driving your passengers in a heavy downpour. Have a technician check the tire treads and windshield wipers on your car. You want to be sure your vehicle has adequate tire traction when driving on slippery, wet roads and the wipers clear your windshield without streaking so you can see properly.
Carpooling is a great way to save on gas and carbon footprint. You need to practice safe driving behaviors, however, to ensure your passengers make it to school and back safely. Also, stay alert to other drivers since you can’t control their driving behavior. Make sure your auto insurance policy is current should there be an unexpected accident.