Bus Safety Tips for Kids
In this blog post, we will provide tips for parents on how to teach children to be safe around school buses. Read on to learn what rules to kids need to observe when riding buses for summer camp trips or to and from school.
Why Children Must Be Cautious Around and On School Buses
At some point all children find themselves riding a bus—whether it is a traditional yellow bus back and forth from school, on a field trip, or on expeditions with their summer camp. This is why it is important for parents and caregivers to teach kids about staying safe not only while riding one, but also when waiting for and getting on/off the bus.
The risks begin as soon as your child approaches the bus stop on foot. Far too often, we hear stories of children who ran for a bus they feared was about to leave and end up darting in front of it just as it is pulling out. Or while on the bus, even if there is a safety belt, many kids don’t wear them because it isn’t “cool” or “no one else is.” These behaviors put children in danger of serious injuries should the bus driver fail to see them, stop suddenly, or get into an accident. Getting on or off the bus poses other risks, as kids might stumble on the high steps or fail to move away from a departing bus fast enough to avoid being clipped.
While being cautious and following basic safety tips for bus riding can only go so far, it is vital that children understand how important it is to do their part to protect themselves. Although they might be confident the driver will see them or believe the huge metal vehicle they’re riding in is protection enough, the unfortunate fact is that school bus accidents do happen—with life-threatening results.
How Common Are School Bus Accidents?
First the good news: kids are statistically far less likely to be injured or killed in a school bus accident than in other kinds of vehicular crashes. Less good are statistics showing that accidents with fatalities involving school buses have risen 50 percent since a pandemic-era low, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). An approximately 10-year review of these statistics revealed that 5 percent of these fatalities were school bus passengers. Of those who suffered injuries in these crashes, around 30 percent were passengers. The remaining fatalities or injuries included bus drivers, pedestrians, and occupants of other vehicles. Sadly, many of the pedestrian victims were school-age children—likely on their way to or from the bus, as revealed in an earlier study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).
Our children are more than just statistics, of course. Even a single young life lost or forever changed by injury is too many.
5 School Bus Rider Safety Tips
The most common accidents involving a school bus include running into a stationary object, rolling over, an individual falling down the stairs getting on or off the bus, and collision with another vehicle. With these in mind, make sure your kids memorize and follow the following suggestions for staying safe while around and on a bus:
- Buckle up. If there is a safety belt, wear it whenever seated. Seatbelts significantly reduce the risk of injury if the bus should strike a tree or other fixed object, roll over, or crash into a car or truck.
- Approach and depart with caution. Never run or walk in front of or behind a bus unless it is fully stopped with lights and indicator signs activated to warn other vehicles not to pass. Even then, try to make eye contact with the driver to ensure that they see you, either directly or in their side rear-view mirror. Buses have a lot of blind spots
- Walk, don’t run. Eager children tend to run down (or up) stairs without regard for how steep they are. This could result in missteps and tumbles off the bus. Children should hold the railing(s) provided and slowly climb up and down the bus stairs.
- Never stand in the aisle. No school bus driver should allow a child to stand on a moving bus, especially up front near the driver. Otherwise, a sudden stop or swerve could send a child tumbling with dire results. As soon as they are on the bus, children must sit down and remain seated until the bus comes to a full stop at its destination.
- Leave the driver alone. Kids should not both the driver by talking to them or causing any sort of disturbance while riding. A distracted driver is a dangerous driver, increasing the risk of losing control of the multi-ton vehicle.
Contact Our Los Angeles Lawyer If Your Child was Injured in a Bus Accident
Following the safety tips provided above can help protect your child. However, though uncommon, school bus accidents do happen and regardless of the care they take, children might be seriously injured. If that happens, you will need a competent and experienced car, truck, and bus accident attorney to pursue damages against the bus driver, school district, private transportation company, and/or any other person or entity responsible.
Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation can help you seek justice for your injured child. Our lawyer, Scott, will work tirelessly to ensure your family is able to afford your child’s medical care and receives the highest compensation for pain and suffering allowed under California law.Contact our office today by calling (310) 683-2300 or filling out the online contact form to discuss the details of your case and learn more about how we can help you. We offer free consultations, so there’s no reason not to reach out to someone from our team right away.