School Bus Safety
Throughout the country, children line up on neighborhood street corners to wait for the bus that will take them to school. As parents, we feel a mixture of pride and protectiveness as we watch the iconic yellow bus take our little ones away. The experience of riding the school bus is a rite of passage for many parents and their children. At the same time, concerns over the safety of buses and their drivers cause many parents to opt out and drive their children to school themselves instead. While school bus accidents are not common, they do happen and can result in serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. If your child rides the school bus, here is what you need to know about the safety of these buses and precautions you can take to ensure your child’s safety.
How Safe Are School Buses?
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), approximately 23 million children ride the school bus each day. School buses are considered one of the safest forms of transportation for children, 13 times safer than riding in a car, and 10 times safer than walking. At the same time, accidents do happen and when they do they can be horrendous. A September 2015 school bus accident in Tampa Bay involved a school bus that ran off the road and plunged into a four-foot deep pond, trapping 27 students on board. Fortunately, the students were rescued and there were just a few injuries. Another school bus accident occurred only a month earlier. An August 2015 school bus crash in Pensacola left 16 students injured. The accident occurred when a dump truck ran a red light, slamming into the side of the bus and causing it to overturn. These types of accidents, though every parent’s nightmare, are the exception. The fact is that most school bus-related injuries do not actually occur on the bus, but happen when the child is waiting at the bus stop.
School Bus Safety Tips
If school bus service is available in your school district, the National Safety Council (NSC) recommends you use that service. The NSC says that statistically, your child has a greater chance of being hurt or killed as a pedestrian on their way to or from school than in a school bus-related accident. In terms of bus safety, more injuries tend to happen at the bus stop rather than on the bus. If your child takes the bus to school each day, the NSC recommends you follow these school bus safety tips:
- When waiting for the bus, stay back from the curb, and avoid roughhousing and pushing others.
- Line up in single file away from the street as the bus approaches.
- Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before loading, and pay attention while boarding.
- When exiting the bus, hold the handrail and exit one at a time.
- If you have to cross the right, cross in front of the bus, at least ten feet ahead.
- Make sure the driver sees you, and wait for them to signal.
- If you drop something near the bus, let the driver know before attempting to pick it up yourself.
Remind children to avoid yelling or making loud noises when riding the school bus. They should stay seated, and avoid playing with windows or in aisles. Allowing the bus driver to focus on the road in front of them instead of having to referee disruptive behavior on the bus will ensure your child gets where they are going safely.
Contact Our Experienced School Bus Accident Lawyer Today
If you have a loved one who has been injured as the result of a school bus accident, contact an experienced Florida school bus accident lawyer today. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we’ll hold responsible parties accountable and help you to get the compensation you deserve. Serving all of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties, our lawyers and staff understand the serious nature of injuries related to trucking accidents. We can help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Call us at (772) 595-6654 for a free consultation today.