Back to School Tips
For many parents, back-to-school time means carpools. Before hauling the kids around town, parents need to make sure their vehicles are operating in tip-top shape. By having the vehicle maintained, you can increase the reliability of it when you need to drive.
An oil change is a smart first step to prepare your vehicle for back-to-school driving. Your vehicle’s engine will likely be working overtime since most carpools require quick trips in heavily trafficked areas and extended idling. Changing your engine oil, replacing dirty air and lubricant filters and checking your tire pressure are important to keep your vehicle on the road, not on the side of it.
Seat belt use among high school students is lower than among other passengers. Make sure you wear you seat belt, and your passengers as well. This can keep everyone safe incase there is an accident. If there is damage to a seatbelt, make sure to have it repaired as soon as possible.
Some parents will be taking preschool children along when they drive older children to and from school. Make sure everyone is using proper seat restraints at all times. For infants, it is recommended you use infant-only or rear-facing convertible seats with harness straps at or below shoulder level. Toddlers should be placed in forward-facing seat with harness straps at or above shoulders. For young children, it is recommended to use a forward-facing, belt positioning booster seat with the lap belt fitting low and tight across the lap and the shoulder belt snug across the chest and shoulder. All children aged 12 and under should ride in the back seat with the safety belt fastened securely. Generally speaking, children should not graduate to the standard vehicle belts in the rear seat unless the belts fit properly across the thigh and snugly across the chest.
Remind your child to always use school crosswalks and sidewalks when they are walking. Also they should be alert to their surroundings. You should not ignore the crosswalks either. Children may not always stay on the sidewalk or within crosswalk lines, so you need to be extra careful while driving through school zones. Since a lot of morning traffic is comprised of parents driving children to school, you should also watch out for other vehicles slowing down or suddenly stopping to let children out. The sun may also impair visibility, so drive with caution.
As always, if you notice an issue with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for you. This can help you to keep your vehicle safe and reliable when you drive this year. If you are not sure how often to bring the vehicle in, contact us and we can advise you on the correct schedule.