Our sponsors at Les Jacobs Ford understand just how busy our lives can be between getting the kids to school on time, hauling them to and from sports practices, taking them to church activities and the list goes on and on (and on!). If you have a group of trusted friends and neighbors, it might be time to consider organizing a carpool. It could save you time and gas money, not to mention, your kids will enjoy the company!
Getting started will take some coordination and organization, but once you have a good rotation set-up with a trusted group of moms (and dads too!), carpooling should make your life a little easier this fall!
- Don’t plan for too many kids. I know it is hard to say no to a friend who needs help, but when it comes to car safety, we have to. Do not plan for 5 kids when you can only safely fit 4 inside your car.
- If a child requires a car seat or booster seat, make sure to have mom or dad help you install the restraint properly.
- To ensure there are not underlying problems with your vehicle before the craziness of back-to-school kicks off in full force, make an appointment with Les Jacobs Ford and ask them to do a quick inspection and make sure your vehicle is good to go! You can also reach them via phone at 888.296.9761.
Contact information. Everyone that is involved in the carpool will want to exchange cell phone numbers prior to the first outing in case of an emergency or change of schedule. It is always a good idea to exchange numbers before you actually need their number! Plus, parents involved must have a strong line of communication so nobody feels like they are missing out on important information or announcements during the activity, etc.
Be an example. When it is your turn to drive, you not only have your own children depending on you to drive them safely and set a good example, you are now responsible for others as well.
- Make sure you are wearing your seatbelt.
- Be mindful of the music you have on the radio. It might be easiest to make a carpool playlist of kid friendly and age appropriate songs so you don’t have to worry what may come blasting from your speakers!
- Absolutely no texting and driving. Not only is it dangerous, you want to set a good example for the future drivers in the back seat.
- If it is your day to drive, arrive a few minutes early to start installing car seats, loading kids, etc. You will greatly appreciate it if the other drivers do the same, so be the example.
It could get messy. Have plenty of wet wipes and plastic shopping bags (ie Walmart bags) for trash bags when traveling with kids (well, lets face it, adults too!). If you don’t allow food or drinks in your car, make sure the other drivers are aware of that so they know not to pack snacks that week. If you do allow snacks, communicate with the other parents. You may want to ask parents to pack for their own child or it may be easier if the driver provides the snacks each week for everyone. Just want to make sure nobody is left out!
Bring along a few activities. Depending on how long you will be on the road, it might be a good idea to grab a couple of magazines, small toys or activity books to keep everyone entertained. If you are going to bring electronics (iPad, tablet, etc), be sure and give everyone a turn. If they have something to keep them busy, they will probably be less likely to fuss and fight. You will want to ask mom or dad if their child gets car sick if they are looking down, just to be prepared!
Do you have carpooling tips you have found helpful? We would love to hear from you in the comment section at the top of this page. Stay safe driving, mommas!