A guide to the school run
Mornings can be a stressful time of day – sleeping in, getting ready, rushing around trying to make sure you don’t leave anything behind. Then comes the added stress of sitting traffic, hoping you manage to make it on time. The same applies to the school run, except you are now responsible for more than just yourself. According to a recent survey, 77% of parents describe the school run as more stressful than work or grocery shopping, and 80% confessed to losing their temper with their children on the drive to school.
One in five cars on the road during the morning peak are doing the school run. This is no surprise – in 2014, nearly half (44%) of primary school children travelled to school via a car. However, this could be about to change. Following recent reports about the UK’s attempt to reduce air pollution from fossil fuels, by banning the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040, parents who drive the school run could be fined up to £130 under a new pilot scheme. The scheme aims to improve road safety and crack down on air pollution.
With parents admitting the school run routine is stressful and chaos, surely there is a simpler alternative to complete the school run. Here at Motorparks, we strive for a better motoring experience. As September approaches, it’s almost time to start another school year and for the daily school runs to resume. Therefore, this guide will outline how you can do the daily school run with ease.
Keep stress to a minimum
Plan ahead! It might sound obvious, but organisation is key. Planning everything the evening before will save you a lot of time and stress in the morning. Lunches, PE kits and uniforms – set them out, prepare them and pack them on an evening. This will help your morning run smoothly without any blips. If possible, try and leave five minutes early as well to get a head start in the morning traffic.
When you’re in the car, keep spirits high. Don’t let whatever happened before you left the house get under your skin – losing your temper with your children before they go to school will leave things on bad terms for the full day.
The best cars for the school run
To make the school run a comfortable drive, Motorparks recommend a few models which particularly stand out as ‘family cars’ that are perfect for the school run. From the Ford S-Max to the VW Golf estate, packing size into a road-friendly car will ensure you have enough room for the whole family. However, you don’t need a big car for the school run – the new Ford Fiesta is ample size to take the kids to school. Available with five doors and a substantial boot, there’s room for you and the kids plus their PE kits, football boots, lunch boxes and homework bags.
With a new scheme set to be put in place for school run drivers, you could also consider travel alternatives for the school run. 80% of seven and eight year olds walked to and from school alone or with a friend in the early 1970s – however, two decades later, this figure has decreased to 10% of children walking to school, most of whom are now accompanied by their parent or guardian. With 28% of children under the age of 16 now classed as overweight, encouraging your children to walk to school is a good start.
Currently, only 4% of children are cycling to school. This small percentage is a result of parents not allowing their children to cycle on the roads, with traffic danger being a parent’s main concern. However, cycling to school helps children to develop road safety and independence.
The school run doesn’t need to be stressful – the key to a smooth school run is organisation. Prepare as much as possible the evening before so that you aren’t running around on a morning. With careful organisation, you’ll be able to leave on time or early to make the morning traffic more like a walk in the park.