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Road rage on the school run

-Brits feel the frustration of congestion and parking spaces every day on the way to and from school-

Posted on 20 Mar 2013

  • More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of Brits admit to feeling angry with other motorists whilst driving their kids to school
  • More than a quarter of adults (26 per cent) have witnessed or been in an argument with another parent over a parking space outside the school gates
  • 10 per cent have been involved in a crash or bump whilst on the school run 
  • West Midlands is the most dangerous place for school runs, with 17 per cent being involved in a crash or bump
  • calls for parents to get involved in local ‘walking buses’ via

More than two thirds of parents (67 per cent) admit to feeling angry and frustrated behind the wheel whilst on the school run, according to new research from .

Just over a quarter (26 per cent) of Brits have either witnessed or been involved in an argument with another parent outside of the school gates over a parking space where children have been dropped off.  Road rage on the school run is a concern to parents, as almost a third (32 per cent) believe driving children to school is more dangerous than driving to work or into town.

Gloucester Council is now hiring parking wardens to do twice-daily patrols outside of schools in an effort to clamp down on dangerous driving, illegal parking or road-rage  which will in turn hopefully reduce accidents – an initiative that two thirds (65 per cent) of people think is a good idea.

Traffic terror in the West Midlands
People from the West Midlands are most likely to experience school run accidents, with 17 per cent having been involved in a crash at some point, compared with only 7 per cent of drivers in the North East of the country. Almost one in five (19 per cent) of drivers in the West Midlands have seen a child injured outside school by a car, compared with 11 per cent from Northern Ireland.

And the West Midlands is also a blackspot for road rage and rows, with one third of drivers (33 per cent) witnessing or being involved in an argument with another driver. The South East is also prone to heated school runs, with 30 per cent being involved in or witnessing a row, compared with Northern Ireland where only 17 per cent have seen or been involved in an altercation outside the school gates.

Chauffeured Children

The nation’s parents spend just over an hour (63 minutes) on average ferrying their pampered kids to the school gates each week, despite 43 per cent of those living within two miles of their school.  Time constraints on busy parents is the main reason why kids receive the chauffeured service (35 per cent) rather than relying on public transport, closely followed by a worry for their safety on the busy school run (32 per cent).  However, one fifth of parents (21 per cent) admit that they drive their children to school simply because they demand it.

Taking a different route

There are other practical implications of driving children to school other than safety, with more than half (56 per cent) of people being delayed by congestion on a daily basis. However, this does not deter parents from dropping their children at school, despite the availability of easy alternatives.  Half of people (50 per cent) say their children could easily walk to school, while 37 per cent say there are convenient buses to ferry their children.

Dressing to impress on the school run

Part of the demand to drive to the school gates could be a bit of competition between parents. 64 per cent of females and 60 per cent of males admit to making an effort with their appearance when picking up their children, dressing up, doing their hair or applying make-up ahead of the school run.  Indeed it seems that even the car that’s being driven can be a cause to compete, with 71 per cent of parents admitting they sit up and take notice of the type of car other parents drive.

Put those walking shoes on!

With nearly half of children (46 per cent) driven to school living within easy walking distance, the natural solution to congestion woes is to encourage more children to walk. has collaborated with leading UK charity Road Safety GB to establish a handy guide on creating a neighbourhood walking bus.

James Gibson, spokesperson for Road Safety GB says: “We all know that the school run can bring congestion and parking issues. Road Safety GB encourages walking buses because they bring many benefits for children, parents and the wider community. Operating a walking bus provides a safe and environmentally friendly way for children to travel to school. Walking buses help to promote good road sense and parents can often save time and money.
“Of course walking buses do take a bit of organising but council Road Safety Teams across the country often have help and advice to support the setting up of schemes and the information provided by helps to give parents and schools a great start in the process.”

Information on how to set-up a walking bus in your neighbourhood can be found by visiting

Gemma Stanbury, Head of Car Insurance at said: “Our research has revealed an unexpectedly high number of altercations and accidents on the school run and at the school gates.”

“Although it’s unusual for a car insurance comparison website to suggest walking as an alternative to driving, we support initiatives such as this which promote road safety. The most important factor to remember is the safety of children on our roads, and our research has highlighted the school run in particular as an area for concern. With this in mind, we’re encouraging road users to be extra vigilant when driving near the school gates.”


Note to Editors:

1Research conducted by OnePoll in March 2013 for with a survey base of 2000 UK parents who drive their children to school


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