Nothing is more tragic than a school bus accident that results in the injury or death of a child. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that close to 150 children, pedestrians, and cyclists die each year in school bus accidents across the United States. As students prepare to return to school in September, knowledge of bus safety is imperative to keeping children free from serious injury or death.
Bus Safety Guidelines
Children should be taught and reminded of these important bus safety guidelines before the school year begins:
- Stand back at least three feet from the edge of the curb at the bus stop.
- Remain a safe distance from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the door opens.
- Hands should be free to grab onto handrails when entering or departing the bus.
- Children should be seated with a seatbelt securely fastened at all times.
- Refrain from eating, drinking, or leaning over the seats or into the aisles while on the bus.
- Keep arms and heads inside open windows.
- Keep voices at a conversational level to avoid distracting the bus driver.
- Teach children to take five giant steps away from the front of the bus and make eye contact with the driver before crossing.
- Even though stopped school buses with flashing red lights require all drivers to stop their vehicle, children should still look both ways before crossing the street.
School Bus Safety for Bus Drivers
Teaching children to abide by safe bussing rules will not protect them if school bus drivers do not practice safe driving. Report all school bus drivers that exhibit any of these unsafe practices:
- Failure to obey local speed limits
- Texting or using a cell phone while driving
- Failure to use stop signals and extended stop arms
- Allowing students to move freely around the bus
- Inattention to seat belt use
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
School bus drivers are responsible for getting assigned students to and from school safely each day. Any and all behavior that puts children at risk needs to be reported immediately to school authorities and to the bus company where the driver is employed.
School Buses are Still the Safest Ride Around
Despite occasional bus accidents, school bus transportation is one of the safest ways to travel to and from school. According to the NHTSA, school bus accidents result in less than one percent of all fatal motor vehicles accidents each year. Safety regulations and laws for school bus companies and their drivers are strict to ensure safe passage for American school children.
The NHTSA reports that children who ride the school bus are 70 times more likely to arrive to school and home again safely than those who travel by car. When students are taught the basic safety strategies for bus travel, they can enjoy a safe and healthy school year.
New Brunswick Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for School Bus Safety
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a school bus accident, call the New Brunswick personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Highland Park offices serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.