Schools across England and Wales are reopening this week, bringing an end to easy morning commutes.
During drop off times, roads around schools can become extremely tricky to navigate. They are packed with parents pulling off extreme manoeuvres plus children and teens walking or cycling alone.
All of that makes accidents near schools likely. According to Road Safety Analysis, back in 2012 more than 1,000 children were injured each month during the school run. That’s a shockingly high number and there’s been plenty of recent efforts to improve the situation. These have included educating kids on road safety as well as measures such as 20mph zones being created.
Some schools in the West Midlands are going even further to reduce the chaos this term, with parents banned from parking nearby.
However as drivers, it’s our responsibility to be prepared for the rush and be vigilant when commuting during drop off times.
That includes being aware of pedestrians and giving cyclists, especially younger ones who are still wobbly on two wheels, plenty of space. Driving slowly and stopping for lollipop men and women, no matter how close it’s getting to 9am, will also keep everyone safe. Failure to stop for a School Crossing Patrol Officer can actually land you with £1,000 fine – or a ban.
Parents should also consider how their actions can impact others. It’s really tempting to hold up traffic for a second to let the kids out. But consider how that might lead frustrated drivers behind to make silly decisions when trying to get past.
We also need to accept the inevitable and plan ahead or leave extra time for journeys. Even journeys that avoid schools are likely to be busier, just because fewer of us are now on holiday.
If you’ve got a long commute check the best route before you set off to avoid stress. Apps such as Google Maps can be set to give you an update on traffic conditions to warn you of any major jams.
Make sure the dash cam on your phone is set up and running – even before you start the engine. Including this as part of your routine every journey will help you to stay safe and could provide vital evidence.
Should you have a bump, 4Sight will detect it using the motion sensors in your smartphone. Video footage will be sent instantly to an operative who’ll call to make sure you and anyone involved is ok. It’ll also prompt you to gather all the information you need in the event of a claim, helping you to keep your cool.