More than two thirds of parents (67%) admit to feeling angry and frustrated behind the wheel while on the school run, according to new research from Confused.com.
Just over a quarter (26%) of Brits have either witnessed or been involved in anargument with another parent outside of the school gates over a parking space where children have been dropped off. Road rage on the school run is a concern to parents, as almost a third (32%) believe driving children to school is more dangerous than driving to work or into town.
Gloucester Council is now hiring parking wardens to do twice-daily patrols outside of schools in an effort to clamp down on dangerous driving and illegal parking which will in turn hopefully reduce accidents – an initiative that two thirds (65%) of people think is a good idea.
Traffic problems in the West Midlands
People from the West Midlands are most likely to experience school run accidents, with 17 per cent having been involved in a crash at some point, compared with only 7 per cent of drivers in the North East of the country. Almost one in five (19 per cent) of drivers in the West Midlands have seen a child injured outside school by a car, compared with 11 per cent from Northern Ireland.
And the West Midlands is also a blackspot for road rage and rows, with one third of drivers (33 per cent) witnessing or being involved in an argument with another driver. The South East is also prone to heated school runs, with 30 per cent being involved in or witnessing a row, compared with Northern Ireland where only 17 per cent have seen or been involved in an altercation outside the school gates.
The nation’s parents spend just over an hour (63 minutes) on average ferrying their pampered kids to the school gates each week, despite 43 per cent of those living within two miles of their school. Time constraints on busy parents is the main reason why kids receive the chauffeured service (35 per cent) rather than relying on public transport, closely followed by a worry for their safety on the busy school run (32%). However, one fifth of parents (21 per cent) admit that they drive their children to school simply because they demand it.
Taking a different route
According to the findings more than half (56%) of people taking part in the school run are being delayed by congestion on a daily basis. However, this is not dettering parents from dropping their children at school, despite the availability ofeasy alternatives. Half of people (50%) say their children could easily walk to school, while 37% say there are convenient buses to ferry their children.
Dressing to impress on the school run
Part of the demand to drive to the school gates could be a bit of competition between parents. 64% of females and 60% of males admit to making an effort withtheir appearance when picking up their children, dressing up, doing their hair or applying make-up ahead of the school run. Indeed it seems that even the car that’s being driven can be a cause to compete, with 71% of parents admitting they sit up and take notice of the type of car other parents drive.
Put those walking shoes on!
With nearly half of children (46%) driven to school living within easy walking distance, the natural solution to congestion woes is to encourage more children to walk. Confused.com has collaborated with leading UK charity Road Safety GB to establish a handy guide on creating a neighbourhood walking bus.
James Gibson, spokesperson for Road Safety GB says, “We all know that the school run can bring congestion and parking issues. Road Safety GB encourages walking buses because they bring many benefits for children, parents and the wider community.”