Thanks to busy schedules, various extra-murals and other social appointments, kids spend a lot of time on the road, and many families rely on additional help to get everyone to their activities on time. How can you be assured of your kids safety when picked up by anyone but yourself?
1. Keep your kids informed
As far as possible, always ensure that your kids are well-informed of the transport arrangements. Age permitting, provide as much information about the person who will be collecting them, including names, brief description of the person and their car and if possible the registration number of the vehicle.
2. Have a “Family Safety Code” for emergencies
It does happen sometimes, that a last-minute arrangement has to be made and you are unable to inform your kids in advance about the person that will collect them. Whatever the reason may be, one safety tool that is advocated by many child safety experts, is a family code word. This is a word or phrase that is only known by the parents and children, and in emergency cases shared with the specific person. If a stranger approaches your child and says “Your Mom sent me to pick you up”, he or she can ask the stranger for the code word before getting in the car. There are however several challenges to consider when picking a Safety Code.
3. Embrace Technology
Although it is the root of many evils when it comes to driving, modern technology available on Smart Phones can greatly assist with passenger and driver safety. Consider one of the following:
· Applications to discourage or deactivate phone activity
The options are unlimited, but we’ve tested FOCUS – Screen Free Driving (only available for IOS, but similar apps for other platforms available). It automatically starts up when you’re driving. If you pick up your phone and look at the screen, you’ll be prompted by a voice to put it down and focus on the road. Additional features include sending driver reports via email and allowing “passenger mode” for when you’re not the driver.
· Applications to track driving behavior
AAMI Safe Driver App records your journeys and analyses your driving behavior. It then provides you with a driving score and feedback relating to the length of trips, speed acceleration, braking and phone usage. The higher your score, the safer driver you are considered to be.