Each year, almost 140 people die in traffic accidents related to school transportation in the United States. However, school bus accidents can be easily prevented. KidsHealth.org, outlined simple ways to provide school bus safety.
“As families begin to prepare for children returning to school, it’s important for parents and children to go over school bus safety tips together,” said Gardner. “This will help ensure a safe, enjoyable start to the school year for everyone.”
Gardner puts emphasis on being extra careful when children are getting on or off the bus. “A blind spot extends about 10 feet in front of the bus, obstructing the driver’s view,” she says. “Often times, children are not aware of this blind spot and might mistakenly believe that if they can see the bus, the bus driver can see them.”
To avoid school bus related accidents, Gardner offers the following tips to parents:
- Inform children about school bus blind spots, and encourage children to stay 10 feet away from the front or back of the bus in order to stay out of the blind spot.
- Gte children to the bus stop at least 5 minutes early, so the child doesn’t put themselves at risk by running to catch the bus.
- Encourage children to avoid horseplay while waiting for the bus, to decrease the likelihood of their backpack or belongings ending up in the road.
- Tell children to take three big steps back from the curb when the bus arrives, and not to approach the bus until it has fully stopped and the doors are open.
Parents should also urge children to be extra careful when getting on the bus. Children should inform the bus driver if they drop something and need to go back to get it, and they should make sure the bus driver can see them when they go pick it up. They should utilize handrails, and they should take care not to catch drawstrings, backpack straps, scarves, hair, or loose clothing on rails, doors, or seats.
While in the bus, kids should always remain seated and sit facing forward. Kids should also avoid yelling and horseplay, and should never throw anything. When children leave the bus, they should wait for a full stop before leaving their seats. They should use the handrails when exiting, and take five big steps in front of the bus. Kids should make eye contact with the driver while in front of the bus so they know the driver sees them. A child should only cross the road when the driver confirms that it is safe, and they should look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
Take the time to go over these safety tips with your children, and encourage other parents to be aware as well. Make safety and health at school a priority for your child and learn more about health risks at school, and how to prevent them.