Do you rely on carpool to get your kids to school safely? Sharing driving responsibilities with other parents or even paying an older kid to drive your kids to school can be a huge help, but it can also cause some parental anxiety. If you use a carpool for your kids, make sure you've taken these safety steps.
Justin Lavelle, Communications Director of the PeopleLooker online background check platform, shared some of the top must-know carpool safety tips for parents.
Carpool Safety Tips For Parents
Know the driver. Whether the other driver is another parent or a teen, make sure you know these key pieces of information.
- Do all drivers have a current license and registration?
- Does the driver have a commitment to safety or a history of speeding tickets?
- Will it consistently be the same person? Or will the mother and father be switching off? Or will another parent have their teenage daughter drive your kids to school one day?
- Consider a background check for drivers that you are unfamiliar with.
Keep a shared roster / emergency contact list. Make sure that each driver and parent has a list of contact information and emergency information for each child in the car. Share it via email or consider setting up a Google Doc that can updated easily as needed and always current.
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Make safety number one. Ensure that safety is the top priority. This means seat belts for everyone, appropriate car seats when needed, and no distractions for the driver.
- Make seat belts the rule - Every. Single. Time. According to Lavelle one study recently showed that only 74% of kids wore seat belts in the car. Make sure that it's 100% for your carpool.
- Determine if any riders need car seats or booster. If you’re the parent of a child who needs a booster seat, make an arrangement with the carpool to supply, or make sure there will be, a booster seat for your child in every vehicle. Consider an easily portable booster like the inflatable BubbleBum.
- Make sure all the children get out of the car on the curb side of the street, and that you confirm they’re supervised before driving away.
- Do NOT talk or text on your cellphone. According to the CDC, eight people every day are killed because of a distracted driver.
Discuss other safety issues with carpool members.
- Ensure that all carpoolers know where to be picked up at after school.
- Set up a safety code word to use if another parent will be picking up the carpool instead of a regular driver and talk with the riders about what to do if an unknown driver attempts to pick them up.
- Point out the safest seat for kids. Kids 12 and under should be buckled up in the backseat and sit in the middle seat if possible.
Do you use a carpool for your kids?
and finally we just had to include this car pool rant from our friend Jennyonthespot:
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