According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children are much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car. In fact, their research shows that children are 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely on a school but than in a car. However, there are still accidents involving school buses every year. Typical accidents include the following:
- School bus boarding accidents. The area around a school bus is a major danger zone because the bus driver and drivers of other cars cannot see children there. Children must be careful when getting ready to board a bus or after getting off the bus.
- Illegal passing of school buses. Many drivers illegally pass a school bus because they are distracted or because they are simply not aware of school bus laws. Unfortunately, illegal passing of school buses is a problem around the nation. Kids attempting to cross the street after stepping off a school bus are put in danger when drivers fail to stop when a school bus driver extends the stop sign and turns on flashing lights.
For these reasons, we want to remind parents, children, and the community about school bus safety.
School Bus Safety Tips
School bus safety is everyone’s job. We offer the following reminders to ensure the safety of our school children:
- Parents. Please remind your children to wait for the school bus in a safe place. NHTSA recommends that they stand about six feet away from the curb. It may be a good idea to visit the school bus stop with your child and show her where to stand. Also, remind your child to never walk behind a school bus. And if she needs to cross the street in front of the bus, remind her to cross after walking ahead of the bus about 10 feet and making eye contact to verify the bus driver sees her.
- Children. Listen to your parents and other adults when they talk about school bus safety. They want to keep you safe. Do not play at the school bus stop. Also, do not get on or off of the bus until the bus has come to a complete stop. If you drop something around the bus, tell the bus driver before attempting to pick it up.
- Community. All drivers should use caution around school buses and should brush up on the laws so illegal passing does not occur and children aren’t put in danger. Also, drivers need to remember to slow down in school zones and watch for children walking or congregating by the bus stop.
Since no one wants to see children injured in school bus accidents or school zone pedestrian accidents, please share this article on your favorite social media site, and help us spread this important message of school bus safety.