Back to School Bus Safety Orientation Teaches Kids How to Stay Safe and Avoid School Bus Accidents
How can you teach your kids about school bus safety? One New York school district has decided to offer school bus safety orientations for kids at the start of the coming school year. As an article in the Ossining Patch explains, the orientation is designed for children who have never taken a school bus and may not be aware of certain safety measures designed to prevent bus accidents.
At the start of the school year, it is important for younger students who may not be accustomed to riding a school bus, as well as older kids (and even teens) to take a refresher course on school bus safety. The New York school bus safety orientation certainly is not the only one of its kind. Many schools throughout New York and across the country hold school bus orientation sessions. At some of these orientations, kids, parents, and teachers all attend. Some school bus safety orientations even give parents and teachers a test afterward to ensure that they followed the relevant information from the session.
School Bus Safety Tips for Parents and Drivers
According to a fact sheet from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses generally are “the safest vehicle on the road,” and kids are “much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car.” At the same time, however, school bus accidents can happen and kids can get hurt. Indeed, an average of between four and six school-age children suffer fatal injuries each year in school bus accidents. What can we do to help prevent school bus accidents and injuries? NHTSA has safety tips for parents and drivers. Parents should consider the following:
- Arrive at the bus stop early with your child and remind your child to stand at least six feet away from the curb while waiting for the school bus;
- Encourage your child to use the handrails when entering or exiting a school bus to avoid a fall-related accident;
- Teach your child to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before boarding; and
- Emphasize the importance of being careful around a bus and avoiding drivers’ blind spots.
Drivers should consider the following safety tips:
- Always watch out for children walking or biking when leaving a driveway or a garage;
- Take particular caution in school zones, where kids might appear unexpectedly on bike or on foot;
- Drive slowly through any school zone, and keep a slow speed when you are driving in neighborhoods with kids;
- Be aware that kids at bus stops might be playing and could make sudden movements;
- Stay alert in general, and be aware that there may be kids who are late for the bus who could run into the road without paying attention to oncoming traffic; and
- Always obey school bus laws and stop for school buses (this involves knowing that yellow flashing lights mean the school bus is planning to stop to load or unload children, while red flashing lights mean the bus is already stopped and children are getting on or off the vehicle).
If you have questions regarding your child’s safety, contact an experienced bus accident lawyer.
Wishing everyone a safe new school year!