Monday begins a new school year for Polk County children. This time of year is filled with excitement and full shopping carts as parents furiously attempt to fulfill all of the supply list requirements and last-minute back-to-school tasks. It’s also the time that school buses start preparing to transport children to and from school. And prepare they must: approximately 23 million children participate in the United States’ school bus transportation program, according to www.safercar.gov.
Luckily, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles when it comes to avoiding crashes and injury prevention. In fact, they are the safest mode of transportation for shuttling children back and forth to school. Buses also keep approximately 17.3 million cars off the roads surrounding schools every morning. Imagine how much more congestion there would be if it weren’t for buses!
Unfortunately, there is virtually no method of transportation that is completely safe. About 24 school-age children die in school transportation-related events each year. To prevent accidents from occurring, please keep in mind the following safety tips to ensure your children enjoy a safe school year:
- Use caution crossing streets, especially busy streets, to access a school bus. Parents should always take young children by the hand when crossing any street.
- If waiting for a school bus, do not stand too close to the curb.
- Be careful getting on and off the bus. Make sure your child doesn’t attempt to board the bus until it has completely stopped, the door opens, and the driver indicates it’s safe to board. Instruct your child to use the handrails when climbing up bus stairs.
- Please inform your child that he or she should never walk behind a school bus.
- If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, they should use sidewalks or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps in front of the bus before crossing. Additionally, they should make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to ensure the driver sees them.
- If your child drops something, tell them to inform the bus driver. Tell your child to never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see your child.
As a motorist, you can also do your part to ensure our community’s children are safe. Please remember:
- Wait until all children are on or off the bus before proceeding to your destination.
- Always stop at least 10 feet away from buses that have red lights flashing or the stop arm extended.
- When behind a bus, stop when a bus is stopped or when approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped (unless there is a space of five feet, a raised median or a physical barrier on a divided highway).
Following these safety tips will help our children arrive to school and back home safely.
If you or a loved one is injured in any type of vehicle accident, however, please call the skilled attorneys at Brooks Law Group today. We can help determine whether you are entitled to any compensation.