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Driving can be frustrating, especially when an onslaught of other cars presents a seemingly endless obstacle course. As the new school year approaches, millions of parents nationwide dread the agony of school pickup and drop-off lines. Consider the following tips to make the process easier and less stressful for everyone involved. 

School pickup and drop-off lines can be overwhelming

School pickup and drop-off, school car line, student pickup and drop-off
Car pickup line | Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Parents and students are gearing up for back-to-school, anticipating the daily pickup and drop-off lines. No one is above these rules, and everyone needs to follow them so that everything can run as smoothly as possible and ensure that everyone, especially the kids, remains safe. 

Sitting in your vehicle as you creep through a long car line might seem like a mindless task, but some rules must be learned and remembered daily. Our kids aren’t the only ones who need to do their homework. 

You might be tempted to fudge the rules from time to time, but for the sake of everyone else and yourself, mind your manners. 

Here are five tips to consider as you prepare for school car lines: 

1. Don’t double park 

Erie Insurance acknowledges that all parents want to be in and out of the school car line as soon as possible. So, don’t double park.

For one, it drastically reduces visibility for children and other vehicles.

In addition, double parking can block another parent or teacher in their spot and leave them stranded at the school until you leave.

Even if you see your child on the other side of another vehicle, do not double park and wave for your child to cross over. It is not safe for your student, and it could well be illegal. It’s not worth the risk. 

2. Follow the flow of traffic in the car line

Understand that the flow of traffic for the school car line is designed the way it is for a reason. Be respectful of everyone around you, and follow the correct flow of cars. Stay alert and keep moving as the line moves.

Pull up to the front of the line to pick up or drop off your child. Do not try to take shortcuts or cut in line. Do not tell your child to jump in or out of your car before the designated point. That could be dangerous for everyone involved, namely your child. 

3. Consider carpooling

Reducing the number of vehicles in the school pickup and drop-off line could reduce frustration.

Consider carpooling with other trusted families in your area. Sharing driving responsibility means you don’t have to face the car line every day, and your kids can enjoy each other’s company a bit longer. Reducing the number of cars is also more environmentally friendly. 

4. Put down the cell phone during school pickup and drop-off

Today points out that you should keep your texting and phone calls out of the car line. Idling in a school pickup or drop-off zone might seem like the perfect time to catch up with friends and work, but cell phones are a distraction.

You might not be aware the line is moving if you’re staring at your phone, and that could frustrate other drivers. Not to mention, you might not notice children darting in front of your car due to parents not following the flow. Stay safe, and stay off your phone. 

5. Keep moving during school pickup and drop-off

Finally, when your child is safely buckled into your vehicle, move out of the car line. Don’t pause for chitchat or discussions. You can catch up when you get home. All the other kids and parents want to get home too. 


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