School Bus Safety: How to Avoid Child Injury
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So much about the world is changing so fast, but at least one thing seems to remain constant: the yellow school buses that ferried many of us to our classes decades ago are still in operation.
Statistically speaking, kids are safer going to school in a bus than they are walking, biking or even being driven in a family vehicle. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any potential safety issues on a school bus. In fact, some of these issues are the same ones that parents may have experienced years ago!
Where Are The Greatest Points Of Danger?
As far as accidents and personal injury are concerned, there are two situations for kids that stand far above the rest: being hit near the school by an adult driver who is dropping their own children off, and being hit by a bus that is pulling into or out of the school.
Half of all automotive accidents involving a child going to school are caused by another parent pulling into or out of the school. The lion’s share of the remaining accidents are caused by a bus that is pulling in or out. The main problem here is a combination of kids moving unpredictably and without thought for the movement of traffic, and in the case of buses the added blind spots around the vehicle make it harder for drivers to fully keep track of all the pedestrians around them.
To avoid these child injury dangers, instruct kids to keep a safe distance from the sides of buses at all times. They should also only cross in front of a bus at a safe distance, and attempt to make eye contact with the driver before crossing. If kids are late for the bus, they should also be instructed to not panic and dart into the street.
Safety On Board The School Bus
The school bus is generally a pretty safe place, but there are still a few risk factors that kids should be made aware of.
- Kids should never stick any part of themselves out a bus window
- Book bags should be kept clear of aisles so nobody trips and injures themselves
- Hand rails should always be used while getting on and off the bus, and loose straps or clothing should be secured so that they don’t snag
- It’s important to not stand up while the bus is in motion. Unless there is an emergency, kids should wait for the bus to come to a stop if they need to move forward to notify the driver of something
Tips For Drivers
The most important thing to know when in a school zone is that it is always illegal to pass a bus from behind on either side when it has a stop sign up or the flashing lights indicating that it is stopping are engaged. If you are coming upon a stopped bus from the opposite direction, Florida law does not require you to stop if you are on a road with a physical divider in the middle or if you are on a highway with an unpaved space of at least five feet in width; otherwise you must stop when the sign is out. It is always a good idea to be extra vigilant for kids darting across the road in these situations, of course.
It’s also important to be familiar with your usual route, and if it takes you through a school zone or along the route of buses, keep your phone powered off so you’re not tempted to look at it while driving.
Though kids can be taught every safety tip in the book, child injury can still occur due to the actions of a reckless or negligent driver. In these situations, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you to obtain compensation for medical bills and the emotional suffering of your family. Contact Shiner Law Group at 561-777-7700 for a free review of your circumstances; our operators are available to begin processing your case 24 hours a day.