Children can be unpredictable at the best of times, and so when you find yourself driving with children this can be one hell of a stressful experience. Even if you have the calmest children in the world, there is a lot to consider as the driver as you are responsible for yourself, the kids and the safety of everyone in the vehicle. And so, while driving your kids to school might just seem like another straightforward element of the daily routine, you need to make sure you have considered all components before getting behind the wheel.
Here are 7 things you need to consider when driving your children to school.
Know The Rules
The age of your children will determine what rules you need to know and follow regarding child seat laws. For instance, if your child is under the age of five you will use a forward-facing car seat with a harness. For any children about the age of five, they must use a booster seat until they are either 145cm tall or 12 years old, whichever comes first. If you neglect to follow these rules, you are putting your children in danger and if you are caught you could face hefty fines and potentially lose your licence. Make using a car seat fun for children and consider using playful or branded car seats.
Pay close attention to how you fit the seat and check it twice before setting off on your journey as your child’s safety is priority number one. For older children, make sure they understand the importance of putting on their seatbelt and not just half-heartedly putting it under the arm or around their waist as this will not keep them safe whatsoever.
Make Sure Your Car Is Safe
Making sure your car is safe should be treated with the utmost importance. Breaking down is stressful enough, let alone breaking down with boisterous children in the car. This can be particularly stressful if you break down on the way to school as children can become antsy and stressed about being late or missing out on fun with their friends. And guess what? That stress will be directed and taken out on you. So, if you notice any warning lights flashing on your dashboard, do not take any chances by ignoring it or putting it off for a later date.
Depending on what state you live in this will determine whether it is a legal requirement to get regular service checks on your car. Either way, it is a good idea to get regular checks as a preventative measure, as you might miss important warning signs that a vehicle engineer will not.
Be Prepared For The Worst
Driving your children to school is a part of everyday life for a lot of parents. Even if you fancy yourself as the best diver in the world, it is important to be prepared for every scenario. Including the worst-case scenario. If you end up in a car accident with your children, this can be a very traumatic experience. Depending on the severity of your accident you might need to seek legal help. You must know what to do if the worst-case scenario arrives and part of that is to learn more about personal injuries and what you may be liable for, or what compensation you might be owed as a result of the accident. It can be daunting to think about being in a car accident with your children, but it will be even more daunting if it happens and you are unprepared for it.
Make Sure You Are Organised
Being organised will help make the school runs go as smoothly as possible. Having snacks and entertainment for your children stocked in the car is always a good idea. It keeps them occupied and allows you to focus on the road. Additionally, if you were to break down, having both food and entertainment for the kids will keep you safe from a barrage of incessant questioning about when you will get moving again. Also, it is advisable to have a first aid kit in your car at all times. Have one that you know stays in the car, and if you use something within the first aid box make sure that you replace it afterwards. As the last thing you need is a first aid box that has no bandages when you really need it.
Always Have The Essentials To Hand
The essentials can include several things, for example, a spare tyre, a tool kit, a first aid box, a map, a phone charger and many more. Having these things in your car at all times will feel like a godsend for when you need it. However, you should keep the essentials list to a minimum and never leave items out on display for pedestrians to see and this can put your car at risk of someone breaking in.
Driving Someone Else’s Child – Are You Insured?
If you have offered to drive another child, who is not your own, to school then you need to make sure that you are insured to do so. If not you will be breaking the law, and risk big fines, difficulty finding affordable insurance in the future, the possibility of losing your license and potentially even a criminal conviction. If you are unsure whether you are insured or not, it is best not to take chances and do not drive with anyone else’s children until you are 100% sure that you are allowed to do so.
Watch Your Speed
The last point that you need to consider when driving your children to school, is how sensible of a driver are you being. You need to watch your speed, follow the rules and be a calm driver as you are setting the standard for your children for when they one day want to learn how to drive. If you are running late for the school run and start bombing it down the road, this sets the precedent for your children that it is okay for them to do the same one day. You are a role model to your children every time you drive your children to school and that is something you have to take seriously every day.
As you can see there are a lot of important things to consider when driving your children to school. However, over time these considerations become second nature and it will all feel a lot less daunting. The safety of your children should always be your number one priority and these 7 points will ensure that.