Summer is over. You know what that means. The school year has officially kicked off, but do you know the school bus safety tips to keep kids safe? Younger children can be unpredictable: they run and walk, slip and fall. It’s all part of being a kid! Unfortunately, and presentably, 8,000 families lose a child every year because of an injury. We can take action to avoid this. Here are steps we can all take as a parent and as a driver to ensure kids’ safety.

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School Bus Safety Tips for Kids as a Parent  

Children are often at the greatest risk of being injured when they are getting on or off the school bus. In fact, the area immediately surrounding the bus is considered a danger zone. To ensure that your children stay safe, parents should do the following: 

1. Be on Time 

Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled arrival time. This prevents kids running to the bus.  

2. Walk With Your Young Kids 

If possible, walk with your young kids to and from the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives and completely stops.  

3. Teach the Safety Rules to Children 

Teach your kids to stay at least five steps from the street as the bus approaches, always waiting until the bus completely stops and opens the doors. Then sit facing forward on the bus. When exiting the bus, wait for a complete stop. Make sure they learn to look both ways—left-right-left—when crossing the street.  

4. Remain Visible 

Small children are especially hard to see, so it’s important they are visible to the bus driver. Before crossing, they should make eye contact with the bus driver, making sure that it’s safe to cross. Always cross from the front of the bus (about 5 steps forward from the bus) where the bus driver can see.  

School Bus Safety Tips for Drivers 

1. Be Alert 

Usually, when you see a bus, it means it’s filled with children. Be cautious and aware of when the bus stops. Kids may be crossing the street to get on or off the bus. 

2. Go Slow 

Whether the bus’s lights are flashing or not, it is always safe to slow down and keep a lookout for any kids running into the street. 

3. Recognize Flashing Lights 

Learn and obey the laws in your state, as well as the flashing signal light that school bus drivers use to alert motorists.  

  • Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to stop, so motorists should slow down to prepare to stop, too. 
  • A red flashing and an extended stop arm mean that the bus has completely stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their vehicles and wait until the red light stops flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins to move before they can start driving again. 

4. Understanding Traffic Laws

School Bus Safety Graphic from Indiana Gov
  • On a highway that is divided by a barrier or a median, all motorists traveling on the same side as the school bus are required to stop. 
  • If there is no barrier or median, all lanes in all directions must stop for the school bus.

Contact Foley & Small 

Kids often don’t understand the dangers of walking near motorists. That’s why understanding these school bus safety tips helps reduce the dangers. But even when taking the right measures, there are still irresponsible motorists out there. If your family has been involved in a bus accident, seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer at Foley & Small. We want to help you and your family. Contact us today!

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