All parents are concerned for the safety of their children when they head off to school. Each day around 500,000 school buses carry more than 25 million school children back and forth to school and other school-related activities. While school buses are considered to be among the safest vehicles on the road, there are still some steps parents can take to help their children travel more safely and, most importantly, how to react following a school bus accident.
Teach School Bus Stop Safety
One of the most vulnerable times of the day for school kids is right before they board the bus. Accidents can happen when children are unruly at the stop or do not stay in designated standing or sitting areas while waiting. Personal Injury / Accident lawyers always stress the importance of complying with safety standards because any failure can lead to an accident that could produce very serious injuries. Always teach your children to follow the rules.
Teach Awareness Skills
Another safety concern is when children are not paying attention to their surroundings while in transit to and from school. Always teach your kids to watch what is happening around them and to say something to the driver or school authorities when needed. It’s a good idea to reinforce the common-sense rules with your kids, particularly those of a younger age. Start by sitting down with your child and explaining basic rules for safe travel, these include:
• Being orderly at the bus stop and entering/exiting the school bus calmly and carefully.
• Stay seated whenever the bus is in motion and avoid running on the bus when it’s time to exit.
• Never do anything that might distract the bus driver – your safety as a child is in their hands.
• Enter or exit the school bus only after it has come to a complete stop and avoid pushing and shoving on the way in/out of the bus.
• After exiting the school bus, walk for a distance of at least 10 feet before attempting to cross the road, and be certain the bus has its ‘STOP’ sign extended and its hazard lights flashing red. Even if the bus driver is signaling safe passage across the road, check for moving vehicles before stepping out into the road to cross.
• No student should cross the road from behind the bus.
These are just a few of the common sense rules that parents should instill in their children whenever they use a school bus to travel to and from school. Teaching helpfulness and safety awareness is also an integral part of overall education for all school children, and it begins with parental involvement. Remember also that your kids may need to have regular reinforcement of these common sense behaviors, so be patient with them and be repetitive.
If your child is involved in an accident while using school transportation it’s wise to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following the accident.