August 17, 2016

School Bus Safety: How to Avoid Bus Accidents for Riders & Drivers

By Jonathan Damashek

Posted in

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With school about to start, it’s a good time to talk about school bus safety – for other drivers and school bus riders.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 23 million students use these buses every day as a form of transportation to get to class everyday. Unfortunately, in the last years, more than 150 pedestrians with less than 19 years of age died in accidents related to school; two thirds of those were caused by school buses.

School Bus Safety for Riders

In an effort to help you keep your kids safe, we want to share with you several tips on how to use this form of transportation listed by Insurance Information Institute so you can share with your children. Pay attention to the following schools bus safety measures:

  • Always get to the stop at least 5 minutes before the estimated time of arrival of the bus
  • Wait on the same side of the street as the door
  • Stay at least 3 big steps away from the sidewalk
  • Make sure that the driver can see you if you o pass on the front of the bus. Never walk behind the bus.
  • Most school buses related accidents occur in the afternoon when children are getting off the bus. Learn how to use the handrails to stay safe.
  • Replace straps or drawstrings that may get caught on the handrails or doors with velcro and snaps.
  • Understand there’s a danger zone around the bus and that you should immediately take five giant steps after getting off. If you have to cross the street, walk ahead of the bus before crossing and wait until the driver indicates it is safe to cross.
  • Be aware of the spot that the driver cannot see (blind spot) 10 feet around the bus; on the front, on the back and on the sides,
  • As you are getting off, you should never stop to pick up something that has fallen on the street. It is okay to loose homework in these situations.
  • In the bus, you must always obey the conductor’s instructions. Stay seated without jumping, or playing with other children.

While we cannot control what drivers on the streets do, we can teach our children to make safe choices when riding a bus. As we already mentioned, it is key that you teach your children how to stay safe when going and coming back from school.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident related to a school bus contact HKD as soon as possible for a free consultation. We will analyze your case and explain you your legal rights.

School Bus Safety for Other Drivers on the Road

Additionally, we want to highlight some advice for drivers about sharing the road with school busses to help prevent accidents.

Of the school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation accidents from 2003-2012, 30 percent were hit by another vehicle on the road. When traveling near a school bus, you must use extreme caution. Kids are often distracted when getting on and off school vehicles. And they are more likely to be severely hurt than an adult, even in a minor collision.

For all the reasons listed , and in an effort to help drivers avoid accidents with a school bus, here are several safety tips listed by that will help you remember to drive carefully:

  • If you see a school bus in your lane or coming towards you, pay close attention to what it’s doing. Give the bus extra space and be prepared to stop suddenly as children get on and off.
  • School buses are required to stop at railroad crossings, so be ready to hit the brakes if you’re behind one.
  • School buses travel at slower speeds, so expect to slow down and only pass when the bus driver signals you to go by.
  • Pay attention to any stop signs or signals on the bus
  • It’s illegal to pass a school bus that’s loading or unloading students. Always stop when the bus is in the process of unloading students on public highways, multilane roads, parking lots, and school property.
  • School buses occasionally travel in caravans. If a school bus in front of you has another bus in front of it that’s letting kids on or off, you must stop for that bus as well.

As drivers, it is our responsibility to help school bus drivers do their job and protect the children who are in it. You should also drive carefully around school zones. Do not underestimate the power you have behind the wheel, keep your eyes wide open to avoid accidents.

If you or a loved one suffered an accident related to a school bus contact HKD as soon as possible for a free consultation.