Back to school
The school run adds to the road casualty peaks of commuting
Most of us fully aware of how distracting children in the are can be.
All of us understand the stress and craziness of the early morning organising and commuting. After all, you’ve been sleeping (hopefully), slightly groggy headed and all too often running. little late. Perhaps it is no surprise that these are all key ingredients when it comes to driving errors.
According to data from the Department for Transport, 1 in 6 weekday car crashes resulting in injury occur during school run hours of 8-9am and 3-4pm.
It’s not just the school run, these also coincide with peak points of the commute too and from work.
Stress, time keeping, traffic jams and unexpected hold ups, mental organising of the day ahead and past, we are not always fully focused behind the wheel.
Ahead of the new school year, experts at Confused.com motor insurance are warning drivers to be vigilant on the road during these peak times. For many its been a few weeks off the school run, and kids too are not up to speed with road safety responsibilities as they meet friends after the break and approach a new term.
The working week
Analysis of 5 years of data reveals Friday is the most common day of the week for road crashes. School run hours are some of the most common times for incidents resulting in injuries, alongside the traditional rush hour beginning after 4pm and peaking after 5pm.
Between 2017 and 2021, the DfT recorded 423,770 crashes involving injury on weekdays.
Of these, 68,650 (16%) were recorded during typical school run hours of 8-9am and 3-4pm.
When it comes to incidents involving injury during school run hours, Thursday is the most common day for morning accidents with 7,062 recorded by the DfT.
Wednesday (7,057) and Tuesday (7,045) are the next most common days for morning school run accidents.
In the afternoon, Fridays are the most common for crashes involving injuries – 7,792 recorded.
Holidays are over
As schools and colleges return after the break, louis Thomas from Confused.com motor insurance offers the following tips for parents, guardians and anyone else using the roads at these times of day.
“A new school year can be a stressful time for parents, with plenty of preparation required to ensure their children are all set up for going back to school.
“It’s not surprising that road accidents spike around school run hours. But every driver has a responsibility to be vigilant and attentive at the wheel to reduce the risk of accidents.”
Plan ahead and leave early
“It can be hard to get the kids ready for school on time. Try to get everything you need ready the night before,that way you avoid rushing.
“Being prepared and setting off early provides a buffer for any unexpected delays, this can help reduce stress at the wheel.”
Be mindful when driving near schools
“It’s important to strictly keep to speed limits at all times, but particularly around schools. Speeding is dangerous and a conviction can affect your insurance costs.
“School zones typically have a reduced speed limit, respect these limits and be on alert for children crossing the road.”
Establish a pick-up and drop-off routine
“You can minimise stress and confusion for your child by establishing a set routine. Choose a safe spot so your children know where to find you or your car at the end of the day.
“This can reduce the time spent in often busy pick-up or drop-off areas and benefit other road users.”
Think about carpooling
“See if you can coordinate with other parents to carpool. You could try exploring a rota with other parents to take multiple children in one car. This can also be beneficial if you have work commitments that make doing the school run 5 days a week more difficult.
“Carpooling can also reduce the number of cars on the road, reducing congestion and making the areas around schools safer for parents and children.”