Monday, 17 May 2021

Published Monday, May 17, 2021 with 11 comments

Tips For Successful Carpooling

Carpooling is a blessing for sports parents. Driving your child every other day for practice and on the weekends for games, is mammoth of a task, but when this responsibility is shared amongst other team parents, it comes as a huge relief. Quite simply put, without carpooling, many kids would miss out on practices and games, making it difficult for the team to participate, let alone practice.


Although, for carpooling to work systematically and efficiently, there are some basic principles that need to be followed. Most of these principles are more like common sense, which is perhaps why they are easily ignored.


Here are the important things to be borne in mind while starting a carpool group.


Ensure safety first


The first thing that needs to be taken care of is compliance with government norms. This includes the designated drivers having cars with valid papers, a valid driver’s licence and a well maintained car. These things are often taken for granted and easily ignored. But if you are starting your carpool group, this is where you must start, always.


Another important aspect of safety is essential safety equipment in place, for the driver and passengers. Check safety belts, airbags, first-aid kit, flashlight and a fire extinguisher.


Emergency contacts


You don’t hope for an emergency, however you prepare for it. Each driver must have emergency contacts of all kids on board. In case of a contingency, the driver cannot be expected to make calls to each and every parent/guardian. Designate people in the group whom the driver can call, who then will inform rest of the group. This information should also be printed and kept in the car, just in case the need arises.


Do not overcrowd the car


Although the idea of one person driving all the kids to and from the game venue seems tempting, do not overcrowd the car. Ensure kids wear seat belts which means 1 seat, 1 seatbelt and 1 child. The idea that ‘one extra child doesn’t hurt’ sounds just until there’s an eventuality, and then you think otherwise.


Proper documentation


Although carpools are very common and people do it all the time, it would help if you had the written and duly signed permission of all parents whose kids are on board. You can have copies made of emergency contact information and permissions from parents put together in a file, with an individual copy for each driver. This is not compulsory but it’s just good to be safe than sorry.


Drivers and buddy check


Now this may seem a little over-the-top, but since there are kids involved, you wouldn’t want to take a chance. Have buddies assigned to each driver. The buddy of the driver should call and check up on the driver before the driver sets out to pick children. The buddy’s task is to ensure that the driver’s not stuck somewhere and can make it to the game in time, the driver’s not drunk and is in conscious and psychologically healthy state to drive, and most importantly, hasn’t forgotten their turn. Although the InstaTeam app does ensure that due reminders are sent for every event, but this is just like a fool-proof way to be sure.





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