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To be totally petrified of driving the school run?

(73 Posts)
marne2 Thu 08-Jan-15 09:10:21

I drive a lot, I drive over 10,000 miles a year and rarely have any problems but the school run has got me so angry.

We live in a village, my dd's go to a small school, loads of parents feel the need to drive to school even though they live less then 2 minutes walk away, I live quite far ( edge of village ), my dd's have slight mobility issues meaning we can't walk. I have to get to school early to park ( as the people that live 2 minutes away have left half an hour early to park outside the school gates, it's raining and they don't want little billy to get cold ). At the end of the road there is no pavement but there is a footpath that passes through the church so people don't have to walk on the road.

Anyway, yesterday someone pulled out of a junction ( one of the mums that really could walk to school ) and almost drove into my car, luckily I was going slow and managed to beep my horn as she was about to hit me. She then got shitty with me in the playground as apparently 'I was not there when she pulled out', I was travelling along a straight bit of road doing 20mph when she pulled out, she looked right at me before she pulled out. This really shook me up and scared the dc's.

Today it is raining so even more people driving in, I get there early but still have to park half a mile away, it takes me 10 minutes to get back out, I get to the end of the road where there's traffic trying to come both ways and there's a parent walking her children along the road and not using the footpath, there's not really enough room for 2 car to pass but I'm being pushed along by the traffic and being waved through, I have to squeeze past the parent and her child ( who is waving his hands around and dancing in the road ), the mother starts shouting at me as I'm getting quite close to said child, I can't really stop as another car is trying to squeeze through the other way, the child is totally oblivious and carts on. I left him plenty of room to keep walking sensibly along the road but WTF don't people use the footpath, even the school keeps sending out reminders not to walk along the road and to use the path. Now I look like a bad driver because I almost hit her child ( the child is 10 years old and should be able to walk sensibly anyway).

I'm now petrified to do the school run, my car was hit a few months ago whilst sat outside the school, I have had many near misses whilst my car has been stationary. There's also those parents who think they can get up there late and park where the hell they like, this includes parking in the bus stop, in front of people's drive ways, on verges or blocking off the whole road stopping bigger things ( including ambulances) getting through.

I'm now so scared to go up there that I will have to park half a mile away and walk,. I know it's not the end of the world, my dd will find walking a struggle but she will cope.

Am IBU to be so fed up with it? Are all school runs this bad?

dementedpixie Thu 08-Jan-15 09:18:07

maybe you should have beeped at the child to get their attention and they would have moved out the way.

pinkdelight Thu 08-Jan-15 09:24:05

It is mayhem. We walk to school but I see this kind of madness going on every morning. On that score yanbu, although you can't really judge who should and should not drive so much. How do you know they don't have mobility issues too or other issues that mean driving is the way that works best for them. Presumably if it's such hell they wouldn't choose it over walking unless there was a reason.

Seeline Thu 08-Jan-15 09:24:46

I think you need to be a bit more assertive in your driving. Just because there are other cars trying to get places, you shouldn't feel pressurised into moving if it is not safe to do so. If you felt you were endangering a child, you should have stopped until either the mother had taken control of him, or the pedestrians had moved out of the way. If it causes other cars a delay, or to beep, then tough.
If your DD has mobility problems, could you speak to the school and perhaps get permission to drop in a school car park or something?
TBH, I live in a London suburb, and my DDs school is in a residential area, and the school run sounds exactly the same. Some people are selfish, arrogant and believe they are more important than anyone else. I just leave plenty of time, and keep calm. I know it is going to be like this, so just accept it.

OriginalGreenGiant Thu 08-Jan-15 09:25:13

the mother starts shouting at me as I'm getting quite close to said child, I can't really stop as another car is trying to squeeze through

To me, your problem is that you're letting other drivers bully you.

If you're driving and getting 'too close' to a pedestrian then you STOP and wait for them to move out of harms way. And fuck what anyone else in the cars around you is doing.

PolyesterBride Thu 08-Jan-15 09:27:10

Mine isn't that bad but it can be pretty hairy at times especially if I end up parking somewhere where loads of kids are crossing. In defence of people who drive when they live close - perhaps they are going to work straight afterwards? I now live walking distance but still have to drive sometimes because there wouldn't be time to walk home afterwards and get the car.

Could your DD scoot instead of walk?

Or is there another parent who you could share the drop offs with?

Otherwise I would say the only thing you can do is get there even earlier - half a mile sounds very far away, how early are you getting there?

I sometimes use breakfast club and driving at that time is bliss. Is that an option for you?

You have my sympathy though. It's a pain!

dexter73 Thu 08-Jan-15 09:27:19

I have to agree with the others. If you were getting too near the child then you should have stopped until he had passed you.

marne2 Thu 08-Jan-15 09:30:16

The school car park isn't big enough for me to drop off ( only space for 4 cars ), it is madness. The child had plenty of space to keep walking ( if he walked sensibly ) though they should have been using the footpath as the road really isn't safe, if I had stopped completely the car coming the other way would have hit me and knocked me into the child anyway. I was moving at a snails pace.

This is the 2nd day I have come home upset and shaking due to the school run, I am usually a confident driver but at the moment I don't really want to be driving. I will park half way between my house and the school tomorrow morning as I can use the footpath and not walk in the road to get to school.

Seeline Thu 08-Jan-15 09:33:32

The other thing to do might be to contact you local police and see if they can get someone out to patrol at school run time. We have a community Support Officer come about twice a year, ticketing bad parking, and speaking to drivers/pedestrians doing stupid things and it does help for bit. Also the Headship team are often out patrolling the front of the school making sure parents don't stop on the school markings or just throw their kids out of the car whilst stopped in the middle of the road. Maybe speak to the school?

marne2 Thu 08-Jan-15 09:35:26

Both dd's have ASD and dyspraxia (dd1 has hypotonia in her legs ), she can't use a scooter sad. We will just have to walk.

There are parent who live within a stones through to the school, some of them I know quite well, they don't have health issue or disabled kids but they feel the need to drive.

I'm looking forward to the dd's both being in high school so they can go on the bus grin.

It was hard to stop or swerve, there was a line of cars parked along the road, I was going around them slowly but was being forced to get back in when the line of cars ended, this is where the child had just come around the corner with his mother behind him, there was room so I kept going very slowly so the car coming the other way did not hit me.

marne2 Thu 08-Jan-15 09:37:59

We quite often get the police there but only for pick up, they won't come in the morning, all of a sudden everyone drives sensibly and no one parks in the bus stop ( funny that ). People are not meant to park along the road close to the footpath but after a month of being told this they take no notice. I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to walk if they could, I wouldn't want to risk my car getting smashed up if I didn't have too.

QoFE Thu 08-Jan-15 09:40:10

If your DDs are disabled then I'd get into the school about sorting a disabled bay in the school car park as you have a genuine need for parking there. Wouldn't that come under reasonable adjustments or similar?

Chandon Thu 08-Jan-15 09:44:10

agree with QoFE

If your child is disabled and can't walk, make sure the school help out with this (or the council).

HappenstanceMarmite Thu 08-Jan-15 09:45:38

10,000 miles a year isn't "a lot" at all. Average if anything.

I agree those school runs are a nightmare but continuing to move whilst it is not safe (the mother and child in the road) - because you are feeling pressured to by other drivers concerns me.

LadyintheRadiator Thu 08-Jan-15 09:49:58

I have read your post a couple of time and I'm having trouble understanding why you feel so unable to stop - you say, it was hard to stop - I had to squeeze past.

You are in a car, there is no squeezing. You stop by using the brake pedal. Nevermind everyone else, take responsibility for how you drive. If you are driving too close to pedestrians (whether they shouldbe there or not is irrelevant) then that is your doing and you can't blame everyone else for it.

marne2 Thu 08-Jan-15 10:07:22

Yes, I probably should have stopped but if I did my car would have been hit by the car coming towards me, I was trying to look at both sides of my car, car about to hit me one side and a child the other. I felt the child had plenty of room, the mother obviously didn't as she felt the need to to shout ( I think she was shouting at her son too, not just me ). Yes, maybe I should have stopped but I didn't ,it's hard to explain the situation without drawing you a picture. The boy was fine, I was not going to hit him, his mother just felt that I should have not been as close.

My car is small, most of the other cars are 4x4's or people carriers, I feel a bit vulnerable and often get forced to move my people driving very closely to the side of me. Since I have downsized my car I have had a lot more problems with the school run, maybe I should join everyone else and buy the biggest car I can.

dementedpixie Thu 08-Jan-15 10:10:49

why would the car coming towards you have hit you if you stopped? Were you veering away from it and towards the child? Maybe that's why the mother was worried as you looked like you were aiming for him

HappenstanceMarmite Thu 08-Jan-15 10:23:39

The oncoming car had brakes too so why would it have hit you? In any case, better that your car gets knocked a bit (slow speed) than you avoid that and hit pedestrians (whether they should be there or not).

Honestly? It sounds like driving is not for you if you end up (shaking) after such a minor altercation.

HappenstanceMarmite Thu 08-Jan-15 10:24:30

*should have used "" not ( ) for "shaken"

HappenstanceMarmite Thu 08-Jan-15 10:24:55

*shakING! FFS

marne2 Thu 08-Jan-15 10:25:26

Row of cars parked on the left coming up to a junction.

I was going around the cars ( not my right of way but a car flashed me to let me come through ).

At the end of the row of cars was around 20 metres before the end of the road ( no pavement ).

The car that flashed me to come through started driving towards me before I had cleared the line of cars so I had to duck in before he hit me.

Child and parent walking around the corner ( junction ) along the road, no pavement so they were walking in the road.

The foot path cuts across the corner through the church yard so people don't have to walk on the road ( though I know that no excuse ).

I still left room for the child but child wasn't looking, was jumping around so parent panicked ( I think ).

There was room for the child, I thin the mum just panicked, maybe thought I was going to cut right in ( but I didn't I left room ).

Hope that makes more sense?

Yesterday I was driving along a straight road whilst a mum pulled out, I was just a few metres away when she pulled out, she looked straight at me but then pulled out, I beeped, she almost clipped the side of my car and then drove off shock. She then said that my car was not there when she pulled out ( obviously me car was there she just didn't look hard enough or was maybe distracted by her kids.

School won't allow a disabled space, my dd's don't have a blue badge ( though they do claim mobility ), if they did provide one I suspect people would park in it the same as they do the bus stop and the keep clear outside the school gates.

I will be walking tomorrow, I just can't be doing with the stress and hassle of parking near the school. Dd1 ( the one with the main mobility issue ) will be leaving in 6 months so I will be able to walk a bit further with dd2.

Scruffydoggy1 Thu 08-Jan-15 10:26:12

I detest the school run for this very reason.

If people are parking dangerously I would speak to the school ours sends out weekly reminders in the newsletter and parking has improved.

The residents living round the school have complained about blocked driveways.

Just before Christmas the school sent out a reminder letter about safe driving round the school after a dad and two children were lightly struck by a car after some silly cow mother was texting at the crossroads and missed the lolly pop lady's signal to stop. She hesitated and stopped then struck them.

marne2 Thu 08-Jan-15 10:39:25

'Sounds like driving is not for you'

Up until a few months ago I really enjoyed driving, had never had a accident, would happily drive half way across the country on my own, would go for a drive to relax.

A few months ago dh and I were sat outside the school in my car waiting to collect the dd's when someone in a 4x4 drove into the side of my car, I could see it was going to happen but as we were sat with the engine off there was nothing we could do, the sound was horrendous and my car was damaged all down one side, I guess it shook me up and has made me a bit paranoid about people driving to close to me. This is the main reason I hate the school run. I am worried my car will get hit again and then I have the hassle of being without a car whilst it gets fixed plus the trauma of being hit again. I'm sure it's quite normal to feel like this after someone ploughing into you?

I tried my best today in the situation I was in, I felt I gave plenty of room for the child, the mother just panicked. Yesterday was not my fault at all and that shook me up more than today, half a second sooner and she would have hit my car with my dd's inside.

These are the sorts of things that are happening every day to a lot of people on the school run, people are in a hurry, people want to park as close as they can, people want to walk the fastest route because it's raining.the school often send out letters reminding people where not to park, asking people to walk if they can and telling people to use the footpath.

TSSDNCOP Thu 08-Jan-15 10:41:08

I live 5 minutes from school but drive there be aisle afterward I'm driving on elsewhere, so I don't think it's necessarily fair to say other parents shouldn't be driving.

School runs do bring the worst out in people though, and if it means less stress for to park further back I'd probably do it. I would lobby for a disabled spot in the school car park though. I'm no expert on this but couldn't you apply for a blue badge due to DDs mobility issues?

On a side note I have a major issue with this whole flashing lights thing. If the flashing driver changes their mind it leaves you up shit creek if you are going against the right of way.

Seeline Thu 08-Jan-15 10:47:27

There are parent who live within a stones through to the school, some of them I know quite well, they don't have health issue or disabled kids but they feel the need to drive.
Ask these people whether you can park in their drives as it would mean your kids would not have to walk as far wink

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