Oh, hi there. It's us, your friendly neighborhood child chauffeurs. Also known as “mom” and “dad” and sometimes as “hey you” and “that scary guy over there.”
We've recently had the pleasure of starting this school dropoff and pickup thing and…well…we have some feedback. Just a bit of commentary. A small PSA.
Some of you parents drive like the hounds of hell are coming after you.
We get it. You have places to go. But the ramifications are extreme if you aren't careful during those numerous trips back-and-forth from school. Statistics show that more children are hit by cars near school than at any other location. These poor kids are trying to get an education and then – WHAM! Someone comes around the bend in a hurry to run errands or get to swim meet or watch the latest Bachelor episode.
Chris Harrison will wait. Childhood will not. Here are some ways to ensure that you and your vehicle are in the proper shape to handle the demanding schedule of kid duties.
1. Get your car ready. Make sure your shocks aren't worn out, your tires are inflated properly, and things like windshield cracks are taken care of. We've said it before, and we'll say it again. If the components of your car aren’t working properly, you aren’t driving properly. For example even one 50% degraded shock on your vehicle may increase stopping distance by up to 10 feet under certain driving conditions. And that could make a big difference! Before you head out to start back to school shopping you may want to visit the website of our sponsor Monroe® Shocks and Struts to find a location near you that can perform a quick suspension inspection while you’re checking off all that other back-to-school stuff.
2. Drink your coffee before getting in the car. Chelsea doesn't come out of zombie mode until her second cup. Knowing this, she's invested in a Keurig so she can have a grossly-sized mug of caffeine ready to greet her each morning and smack her into reality. Whatever your wakeup routine is, make sure it's completed before you get behind the wheel. This especially goes for you college drivers who have been up studying all night.
3. Do a circle. Make a habit of walking all the way around your car each time you get in it. You never know when a toddler is going to randomly decide to plop themselves down near your wheel base, and you can't see them in your mirror come time to backup.
4. Slow down. Drive as if kids are popping up like Whack-a-Moles. Even if you're dropping by at 1pm and you know for a FACT that the whole school is contained in an assembly. Small children frequently act like deranged ninja squirrels. Come to think of it, high school students do, too. They're all sneaky and slippery and never go where you expect them to. Act accordingly.
5. Use Bluetooth. Sync your phone up and put it DOWN. Driving with a cellular device in your hand is just about as bad as driving drunk. Better yet, carpool! It's handy to have an extra set of eyes manning communication and checking your blind spots in the busy school zone.
Even if you think of school dropoffs and pickups as a minor matter of minutes in your day, these auto safety techniques can make a difference throughout your entire life. Preventative maintenance is better than a costly breakdown on the way to an out-of-state soccer tournament, and a little extra care can save your family from a catastrophe.
How do you make school dropoff safer for your own community?
This post brought to you by Monroe® Shocks and Struts. All opinions are 100% mine.