School bus safety should be on the mind of every parent as children head back to school to embark on another year of learning.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school transportation-related crashes kill an average of 19 school-age children each year in our country, which is why it is the second topic in our “Back to School Safety” series.
Slashed budgets and school cutbacks in your area could put children at risk this school year if school districts attempt to save money by hiring inexperienced bus drivers at less money, cramming more kids on fewer buses, or omit patrolling school drop off zones like in the past. Parents may not know what to do when a school bus accident in Naples, or Boca Raton injures your child on their way to school.
School systems have a responsibility to keep your child safe en route to school, at school drop off zones, or on school grounds. If your child has been injured in a bus accident, contact a Boca Raton child injury lawyer to discuss how to protect your family from the financial burden as your child recovers from their injuries.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles reported that roughly 970,000 students rode to school on approximately 19,453 school buses in 2002. From 1998-2002, there were a total of 6 deaths and 56 injuries needing medical attention which occurred as a result of a school bus-related crash.
In examining crash data from 1998-2002, 40 percent of fatalities occurred in front impact crashes compared to 15 percent of deaths were caused by a rear-end impact crash. During this time period, bus drivers cited for violations were most cited for improper backing and failure to make a turn correctly.
First Student , the leading student transportation service provider, has partnered with the National Safety Council to provide parents with school bus safety tips with regard to getting on the bus, appropriate behavior while riding the bus and things to remember when your child exits the bus.
Parents should teach their children the following bus etiquette:
- Alert the bus driver if you have dropped something near the bus rather than try to pick it up.
- Always stay in front of the bus, never walk behind.
- Take three giant steps away from the curb when you are waiting to be picked up.
- Hold the handrail when you enter and exit the bus to avoid a slip or fall.-Never put backpacks or duffel bags in the middle of the aisle. Tripping hazards are a high risk when aisles are blocked.
- Keep hands, arms, and head inside the bus at all times. Always remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.
- Always wait for a signal from the driver before you cross the street at least 10 feet in front of the bus.
- The size of the wheels coupled with the slightest motion can trap or crush a child so keep away from bus wheels at all times.
Other topics in our three-part series of blogs about back to school tips include teen driver and motorist safety tips and preventing child injuries at school and on the playground.