Riding the school bus can be a lot of fun for kids, but it also presents a few serious dangers.
If your child rides the bus to school, there are a few important things they should know in order to stay safe in the event of a school bus crash.
Read on to discover five crucial safety tips every child should know when it comes to riding the bus and how they can keep cool and calm if a crash occurs.
1. Stay on Your Best Behavior
One way to stay safe on the bus is to encourage children to stay on their best behavior as they ride. A distracted bus driver can cause a crash, and unruly kids can cause other injuries onboard as well. Calm, quiet kids create a better environment for everyone on the bus.
If there are seatbelts on the bus, make sure your child always buckles up. Not all buses offer seatbelts but if they’re available, make sure your kids use them every time they ride. Kids should stay still in their seats and keep their heads and arms inside the bus at all times.
When they ride on the bus, the aisles should be clear of bookbags, books, and other items so other children don’t trip and fall. Quiet, well-behaved children will make the bus ride safe and pleasant for everyone, especially the driver.
2. Follow Safety Tips for Getting on the Bus
Many bus crashes occur when kids stand too closely to the bus or when they dart out in front of it. Children should always stand at least six feet from the curb when the bus approaches.
Before getting on the bus, your child should wait until it comes to a complete stop and the door is open all the way. The driver should tell them when it’s ok to get on.
When walking in front of the bus, kids should be at least 10 feet ahead of it before crossing the street and should make sure the driver can see them. No one should ever walk behind a school bus since drivers can’t see people who are behind them.
3. Know the Common Causes of School Bus Crashes
It’s important for kids to be aware of what some of the most common causes are of school bus crashes. Most crashes happen because the driver is either distracted or improperly trained to drive such a large vehicle.
Inclement weather and bad road conditions like ice or snow are also common reasons why buses get into crashes. Poor bus maintenance by the school district can also pose a threat to school bus safety. Talk to your school about bus maintenance if you’re concerned that things may be overlooked.
Speeding is also the culprit for a lot of crashes, but it’s usually a combination of the driver being preoccupied with what’s happening on the bus. That’s why your child should always be on his or her best behavior so the driver can focus their attention on the road.
4. Learn What to do In a Crash
If your child does end up being involved in a school bus crash, they need to know what to do. First, encourage and remind your children to keep as calm as possible if they get into a school bus accident.
Make sure your kids have an emergency phone number handy where they can contact you at work or at home. Tell them to call you as soon as they get involved in a crash so you can check on them and make sure they’re alright.
The key is to let your kids know that there’s no reason to be afraid when they ride the school bus. As long as they know what to do and how to handle it, most children walk away from these types of crashes unscathed.
5. Be Aware of Built-in Protections
School buses are the safest types of vehicles on the road, and that’s because they’re made to be that way. Buses are highly visible thanks to their bright yellow color, and they also include red flashing lights, stop-sign arms, and cross-view mirrors.
A school bus includes high crush standards along with rollover protection in the event of a serious collision. In addition to these safety features, school buses are protected by the law.
Laws are in place that protects kids who are getting on and off the bus from being hit by other vehicles. If a driver passes a school bus while they’re dropping off or picking up kids, they are held accountable by local laws.
While these added safety features are no guarantee that a crash won’t happen, they still give you and your children a little extra peace of mind. As long as everyone follows the basic safety rules, the odds of being involved in a school bus crash are fairly minimal.
Safe School Transportation
With these easy safety tips, your child can be ready for the school year. From staying on their best behavior to keeping their arms inside the bus, it’s important to encourage proper bus-riding behavior at an early age.
If your child does get into a school bus crash, teach them how to handle the situation until help arrives. Give your child reassurance that bus crashes are rare so they won’t worry whenever they go to and from school.
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