Objectively speaking, based on crash statistics compiled by organizations
like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), school
bus rides are surprisingly safe. However, accidents can occur even under
the best circumstances. If your child got hurt in a mishap involving one
of these vehicles, immediately seek medical attention, document what happened
(including taking pictures and jotting down witness accounts), and avoid
discussing the accident with an insurance adjuster prior to consulting
an experienced bus accident attorney.
All that said, fortunately, most injuries can be prevented if children
follow standard safety practices. Here are some measures to minimize that risk.
1. Mindfully wait for the bus.
Good safety behavior starts at the bus stop. Children need to stay out
of private property, avoid roughhousing, and wait until the bus makes
a complete stop before approaching it. Above all, they shouldn't stray
into the street.
2. Behave calmly and be well-mannered on the bus.
Exercising precautions while on the bus can also reduce the likelihood
of accidents and subsequent injuries. Avoid making loud noises that might
distract the driver, and keep books and bags away from the aisles. Children
should also stay in their seats and refrain from putting any of their
body parts outside the window.
3. Exit carefully.
National Safety Council offers several recommendations for getting off the bus. If children have
to cross in front of the vehicle, they should walk at least 10 feet ahead
to be sure the driver can see them. It's important to wait for the
driver to signal before starting to cross and also wait for a second signal
before crossing the center line of the road.
4. Be vigilant at dusk.
Earlier sunsets associated with autumn can present other safety risks
for riding the school bus. Take steps to protect your child from possible dangers.
Here's some more timely back to school wisdom for parents:Make Sure Your Kids Follow All School Safety Guidelines.