A York University and Hospital for Sick Children study finds children face an increased chance of injury near schools during morning rush hour due to parent’s dangerous driving.
As a parent, you may think you’re keeping your kids safe by driving them to school in the morning, but a recent study suggests otherwise. Dropping kids off on the opposite side of the road forcing them to jaywalk, stopping in the middle of the road to let kids out, and double parking are cited as three dangerous student drop-off behaviours that leads to a child’s increased chance of being hit by a car.
These dangerous driving behaviours are happening more often than you might think. The study found that at least two instances of dangerous driving behaviours occurred during the morning drop-off at 88 per cent of the Toronto elementary schools they observed.
"We are busy, we are stressed, especially in the morning—people have to get to work and I understand that, I’m a working parent, too," said York University health professor Alison Macpherson to TheStar.com. "But we have to do whatever we can to make roads safer for everybody."
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Getting the kids to school safely
The study suggests there are a number of ways to improve safety around the school. Some of these changes could include moving designated drop-off locations away from the schools, police enforcement, and encouraging active transport to schools (e.g. walking or cycling).
Additionally, the following InsuranceHotline.com tips will also help to ensure everyone’s safety when dropping the kids off at school:
- Drive slowly and cautiously in school zones.
- Respect designated drop-off and pick-up areas if available.
- Drop the kids off on the side of the street where the school is located.
- Have the kids exit the vehicle on the side of the car closest to the sidewalk.
- Don't double park even for just a minute as it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles.
- Expect the unexpected and don’t drive distracted. Leave your coffee in the holder, your phone in your bag, and the radio station where it’s at.
- Don’t attempt dangerous maneuvers like a U-turn or three-point turn.
- Never overtake other vehicles within a school zone or within a half block of any crosswalk.
- If traffic is too heavy to safely drop your child at school, find a legal spot to park on a street away from the school, then walk to the school with your child.
- Carpool, if possible, with other parents to reduce congestion.
School zones are busy spots, but with extra care and caution, they don’t have to be dangerous too.