Every school day there are approximately 24 million students transported to and from school by bus. This form of mass transit is the largest of its type in the United States. School bus transportation is generally considered to be very safe. Although, sadly there are approximately 5,000 school bus related injuries each year. Even worse, 26 children on average die annually from school bus related injuries and a vast majority of these are pedestrian related (getting on or off a school bus).
It’s essential for your child to learn the importance of school bus safety to ensure the prevention of accidents throughout their new school year.
School Bus Behavior
Already this school year, two Long Island students were involved in an accident when their bus overturned. Fortunately, the students were unharmed, but as any personal injury lawyer in NY can attest to, this isn’t always the case.
- Children should never behave in a way that will distract their driver’s attention.
- They should always keep their voices quiet, listen to the driver’s instructions, and obey at all times.
- It is also important for them to stay seated during the entire bus ride and keep the aisles clear.
School Bus Entry and Exit
Studies have proven every day, hundreds of thousands of vehicles illegally pass stopped school buses.
- As your child is exiting the bus, teach them to look to the right to see if drivers have come to a complete stop.
- Secure loose drawstrings and other clothing or gear extensions that might prove dangerous if caught on the railing or door of the bus.
- Warn your child if they drop something, they should never reach down to pick it up.
- The best option is to tell the bus driver and have them make the decision about what to do.
- This method will make sure the driver is aware of the location of your child and will be alerted if they, in fact, need to bend over to pick up dropped items.
Precautions Away from the School Bus
There are many ways you, the parent, can make sure your child’s safety.
- While shopping for back to school clothing, remember bright or contrasting colors can be more easily seen by bus drivers and illegally passing motorists.
- Encourage your child to leave the house early and before the bus arrives.
- Doing this will prevent your child from rushing to the bus and potentially falling.
- If you meet your child after school at the bus stop, it is always best to be on the side your child is exiting. After a long day, your child will most likely be eager to see you and can potentially forget all safety training while dashing off to meet you.
When considering the high number of school bus trips taken each school day, the number of accidents is truly very low. However, it is never safe to assume your child will never be involved in an accident, or that they already know the necessary precautions to prevent an occurrence. Going over safety tips with your child is the best way you can enable them to have a safe and happy school year.
As a mom, Bethany Gillis is always on the look out for ways to keep her child safe. Her research has led her to various websites, including one of a personal injury lawyer in NY, which provides help to those involved in unfortunate accidents. It is her wish parents will stress safety to their children to prevent such occurrences from happening altogether.