Back to school safety tips for drivers and parents

Back to school safety tips for drivers and parents


September means one thing – school’s back! Whether you’re a parent or driver, it’s important that you take extra care on the roads this autumn and encourage your children to do the same. With that in mind, here are a few simple tips to make the morning and evening commute that little bit safer.

For parents:

Using the car

  • Check that your child is correctly restrained. If you’re planning to carry any extra children make sure that you have the age-appropriate child seat. Please see RoSPA’s dedicated website for more advice.
  • Choose a safe place to drop your child off near to the school. Aim for somewhere you won’t cause congestion and danger to those walking or cycling to school.
  • Talk to your children about road safety on your way to school, stress the importance of wearing a seatbelt.

Walking to school

  • If you are planning to let your child walk to school on their own for the first time, talk to them about the route they will use and the dangers they may encounter. Watch your child so that you can judge whether they have the ability to cross roads safely on their route to school.
  • Children learn by watching adults. If walking your child to school, talk to them about how they can keep themselves safe and always try to set a good example when crossing the road.

Cycling to school

Cycling is a fun and healthy way to get to school, especially if a few simple precautions are taken:

  • If your child is planning to cycle to school, check that their bike is in good working order. Ensure the brakes work, the tyres are pumped up and the saddle and handlebars are securely tightened.
  • Plan the route they will take and consider cycling it with them for the first time.
  • RoSPA recommends that a helmet be worn at all times.

For drivers:

  • Be extra observant and keep a watchful eye for children walking and cycling to school, they might be distracted and excited.
  • Reduce your speed where you see lots of children, especially near to schools. If you are driving at 30mph and a child runs out, your stopping distance will be at least 23 metres.
  • Rushing causes accidents – give yourself more time for your journey and never be tempted to speed!

Nick Lloyd, RoSPA road safety manager

Posted: 06/09/2016 08:55:32 2 comments


04/09/2017 23:52:01

Ruth Mayorcas

I think it is a pity that you do not put more emphasis on suggesting people avoid driving to school if at all possible and to definitely not park or drop off anywhere near the school gate. Also - why recommend wearing a helmet at all times - it is not mandatory in this country and it is complicit in making parents feel that cycling is an inherently dangerous activity. As someone who cycles 150 miles per week (and I am over 64 so it is for leisure and not speedy training) and who cycled my son to school all the time I am disappointed in your lack of emphasis on cycling and walking.

18/05/2017 01:23:58

Nadia Gage

Being a parent, the safety of my child when sending them at school is my main priority. I see to it to have my car checked to make sure that my car is in good condition. A thing that every parent must do for the safety of everyone.

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