As a parent, the start of a new school year means many things, not the least of which is getting your children to and from school.
While millions of children will ride a bus to school – and the number has grown in recent years – others are driven by their parents or, in the case of teens … kids driving to school.
No matter what type of transportation, there’s plenty for parents to consider.
Driving Your Child to School
It was rare for parents to drive their children to school a few decades ago. Many children walked or biked to school, and those who lived further away took buses.
But safety concerns have changed things. Today it’s estimated that three-quarters of all children are driven to school by their parents.
What it entails
While driving your child to school may seem simple enough, it’s often more complicated than many parents think. For one, it’s a commitment that means making at least 2 trips to school each day.
If you’re a parent with children in different grades or schools, with different dismissal times, you’ll have to decide how to spend your time waiting for each child to be dismissed. In many cases, it’s not worth making multiple round-trips to and from school.
Driving your child to school also requires juggling your schedule. You have to leave on time and be on time when school is over even when children aren’t cooperative. You must also take into account traffic delays, bad weather, etc. – as well as your job and the other things you have scheduled for the day.
Driving to School Alternatives
If you’re fortunate enough to have school bus service where you live, it’s an ideal alternative when driving your children to school conflicts with your schedule.
If you don’t have bus service, there are other ways of transporting your kids to school and their activities.
What is HopSkipDrive?
HopSkipDrive is a free mobile app created by three moms who understand how difficult it can be to juggle busy schedules while getting your kids to and from school safely.
Here’s how it works: carefully screened and experienced CareDrivers take your kids to school and bring them home after school. They’re also available to transport your children to and from their activities, or even if they want to meet a friend for a playdate.
You schedule rides, for the day or week, on either the app or website, and include specific locations, sign-out procedures, and more.
Once you’ve signed up, you’re matched with a CareDriver. You’re able to see his or her profile, picture, and car information.
Another helpful feature of HopSkipDrive is that you can track your child’s ride, including real-time updates.
Getting Your Teen Ready to Drive
There comes the point in many parents’ lives in which their child becomes old enough to drive (and transport themselves to and from school). That said, it’s important to choose the right driving school. Here are some tips to help you choose the best school for your child:
- Make sure all the curriculum covers all aspects of driving, including what to do in emergencies.
- Make sure that the behind-the-wheel training is thorough and doesn’t rush your teen through the process. Every child has a particular pace at which they learn best.
- Make sure that the driving school meets both school and state curriculum requirements.
When teens get their driver’s permits make sure to let your insurance carrier know. No matter what you do your insurance rates will rise. Here are some things you can do to keep your rates low.
- Have them drive a boring car or the car that’s the cheapest to insure in your household. The bigger and faster the car, the more it costs to repair and insure it. 4 door sedans and crossover vehicles are a good bet for keeping premiums low.
- Good grades make for responsible drivers. Being responsible enough to study, complete schoolwork and turn it in equals a responsible driver.
- Many insurance companies offer discounts for teens who have completed a certified driver safety course.
The time that a teenager starts driving can be nerve-wracking for parents. Have questions about insurance rates and liability limits. Give us a call at (800) 378-5554, or send us an email. We’re happy to help!