Back-to-school School Bus Safety Tips

The yellow school bus is the safest vehicle on the road—children are much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car. Although four to six school-age children die each year on school transportation vehicles, that’s less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide.

They are the most regulated vehicle on American roads today, and with good reason. They’re carrying the most precious cargo.

The following are facts about modern bus safety features and tips for both parents and drivers to keep kids safe.

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Did you know these school bus safety facts?

Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car according to the NHTSA.

• School buses are designed to be highly visible—including safety features such as flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors and stop-sign arms.
• Protective seating, high crush standards and rollover protection features are standard.
• Laws protect students getting off and on the school bus by making it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus while dropping off or picking up passengers

Despite safety regulations, designs, and laws, there are thousands of school-bus related injuries every year. In 2017, school bus-related crashes killed 95 people according to the National Safety Council.

Here are tips for drivers and kids alike to prevent crashes involving school buses.

School Bus Safety Tips for Children and Parents

Safety Begins at the Bus Stop

• Children should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive to avoid running near oncoming traffic.
• The NHTSA has determined that students should wait for the bus at least three giant steps, or six feet, away from the curb.

Board the Bus Cautiously

• Children should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop.
• After the door opens, children can use the handrails to avoid falling as they board the bus.

Rules to Prevent Accidents Around the Bus

• Children should never walk behind a school bus or cross a street in front of a bus, unless they are at least 10 feet ahead. Eye contact with the driver also ensures that they’re seen.
• If a child drops something near the school bus, the safest way to retrieve the item is to tell the bus driver before picking it up.

Best Safety Practices for Drivers

• Always slow down as you enter neighborhoods with school zones, particularly watching for children when streets do not have sidewalks.
• When you back out of a driveway or exit a garage, watch for children walking or bicycling to school.
• Learn and obey the school bus laws specific to your state, in addition to the “flashing signal light system” that alerts motorists to the following actions:

o Yellow flashing lights mean that the driver is preparing to load or unload children. Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop.
o Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm mean that children are getting on or off. Drivers must stop and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the stop-arm is removed, and the bus moves before resuming driving.

What to Do If Your Child is in an Accident

If your child is ever involved in a school bus accident, you need to seek immediate medical attention for your child, even if there are not obvious signs of injury.

Then contact an auto accident lawyer. There may have been some negligence involved that led to your child’s accident, and you and your family may be entitled to some form of monetary compensation.

Contact a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer

If your child was injured in a school bus accident, contact an experienced Campbell & Associates attorney today for a free consultation at 704-333-0885 or fill out our easy online contact form.