Bus safety for back to school
Schools are back in session as of next week, which means that for many of us, our children will be hopping aboard a bus every morning and every afternoon. Fortunately, school buses are among the safest methods of transportation for our youngsters. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that riding a school bus is 13 times safer than riding to school in a passenger car, and a whopping 10 times safer than walking!
However, accidents do happen, and children can be injured when riding a school bus.
Loading and Unloading
One of the biggest threats to children when riding the school bus isn’t the actual ride itself, but rather getting safely on and off the bus. According to data collected by NHTSA between 2000-2009, most children injured by a school bus were either on foot or a bicycle.
- 73% of children killed were struck by the school bus
- 34% of those fatally injured were hit by a bus going straight
- 22% were killed when the bus was leaving a parked space or in a lane of traffic
- 15% of children were killed when the bus made a turn
The Danger Zone
The risk of serious injury or death is particularly acute during the pickup and drop-off of children. There is a danger zone around the outside of every school bus where children are at the most risk of being hit, either by the bus itself or another vehicle. This danger zone extends as far as 30 feet from the front bumper, 10 feet from the left and right sides, and 10 feet behind the rear bumper.
Injury Risk Factors
Determining who is at fault for a school bus related accident can be difficult. Accidents can be caused by driver errors, mechanical malfunction, improper bus stop design, dangerous roadways, or bad weather conditions.
Here are a few safety tips to review with your children:
- Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street.
- Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
- When you exit the bus, walk at least ten steps away from the bus. This makes it a lot easier for the bus driver to see you.
- Use handrails to enter and exit the bus.
- Be aware of the traffic around you. Although drivers are required to obey traffic laws, they sometimes fail to do so. Protect yourself and be alert.
A Guide to School Bus Accident Claims
If your child has been injured while by a school bus, claims can often be complicated to prove and pursue. Contact The Carlson Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your case. We will go over the circumstances of the accident and explain your legal options. We have a team of attorneys, legal assistants, nurses and private investigators who are ready to assist.
- Written by Jill Fowler