It’s that time of year again – school is back in session! All across Long Island, parents are celebrating and kids are dragging their feet. Slipping back into the school routine can take some time to get used to, and a large part of the routine for many parents is driving their kids to and from school. Of course, with school back on the daily agenda, the streets of Westbury are naturally a lot busier, adding additional chaos to anyone who has to make the most of their morning commute – and get the kids to class on time.
If the thought of these morning commutes has you stressed out, we here at Westbury Toyota have a few tips and tricks that can make those early A.M. drives a little easier. Trying out just one or two of these suggestions can save you time and frustration and ensure that you and your family have a safe, happy, and fun fall semester. With this in mind, go ahead and set aside a few minutes of your day to join us as we tackle the tough topic of optimizing your morning routine during the school year.
The first tip we have to offer up for getting the most out of your morning commute comes in the form of an ideological shift of sorts. As Lauren Gelman of Reader's Digest points out, most drivers unfortunately view this time spent on the roads of Westbury and Long Island as a burden, and not as something that can be fun, enjoyable, and exciting.
"Celebrate that time instead of treating it like another to-do in the daily grind…"– Lauren Gelman, Reader's Digest,
Have a favorite podcast or a new album that you and your kids can't wait to listen to? Make it a point to enjoy these special treats during your morning commute, or ditch the electronics altogether and take this opportunity to have some quality time with the kids. Once you do this, it won't be long before you stop dreading these early starts and start looking forward to the opening hours of the day.
One of the biggest stress-inducing factors of any morning commute is the time crunch. We’ve all been there, and we all know that being even five minutes behind schedule can wreak some serious havoc on the rest of the day. Having your kids in the car and ready to go ten or fifteen minutes early might sound like some monumental task, but it can actually mean the difference between a frenzied drive to school and a peaceful commute.
Don’t get us wrong – the Westbury Toyota team knows it sometimes isn’t that easy and how hard it can be to wrangle kids in the morning as you get everyone in motion. However, if you make it a habit to set your alarm earlier and get the household up and running bright and early, you’ll see a ripple effect throughout the rest of your day.
Leaving your house a little earlier is also a good call because many schools in Westbury have "drop-off" lines that can back up and create unnecessary stress and frustration for the latecomers out there. Giving yourself an extra 10 to 20 minutes to work with in the morning will give you ample time to get into these lines, drop off your kids, and then continue on to your other responsibilities without feeling like you’re running perpetually behind schedule for the rest of day.
Try though you might, the fact of the matter is that you simply can’t predict everything that’s going to happen between the time you leave your house and when you arrive at your children’s school. Inclement weather conditions, a flat tire, vehicle malfunction, or an accident – all of these are possibilities that you should always keep in the back of your mind when planning out your commutes to school, explain the editorial staff over at Professor’s House. Obviously, it's impossible to control these kinds of things, but that doesn't mean that you have to chug along without a plan in place as you tackle your daily routine.
One of the most crucial things you have in the event of an emergency is your phone. Always make sure you have it on you before you leave your house, and always make sure that you have a battery charger for your vehicle so that you’re not caught with a dead battery when you need your phone the most.
It’s also a good idea to have someone on standby in the event that you experience a blown out tire or car breakdown. Whether it’s your spouse, a grandparent, or a family friend, having someone you can call to come and deliver the kids to school when you're firmly between a rock and a hard place can be a lifesaver in tough situations – and provide you with a little extra peace of mind every time you and the kids buckle up in your favorite Toyota car, truck, or sport utility vehicle (SUV).
An additional, extremely helpful option you have as a Toyota owner in the event of a vehicle malfunction is access to ToyotaCare. As many of us here at Westbury Toyota can attest, the 24-hour roadside assistance offered by the ToyotaCare program can make all the difference in the world when facing down a situation that leads either to a salvageable morning commute or a veritable roadside nightmare. If ever you’re stranded with some kind of breakdown on the way to school with your kids in the car, ToyotaCare will not let you down!
As emphasized by the experts over at the American Academy of Pediatrics, above everything, the focus for every parent driving their kids to school should be safety. This just isn’t a parent’s duty, either – it's a combined effort between schools, communities, and families throughout Long Island. We know that driving with a car full of kids can be chaotic, but it’s just as important to keep up safe driving habits whether you’re getting the kids to school or picking them up at the end of the day.
The safety of all children is just as important to our team at Westbury Toyota as it is to everyone else, and we encourage all drivers to use these helpful tips offered up here in order to make the early morning school commute safer – and more enjoyable and exciting – for all. In doing so, you can start the new school year off right and put your best foot forward toward truly enjoying all that our fine city has to offer to the wonderful people of Westbury and Long Island.