Back-to-School Bus Stop Safety

A multi-ethnic group of elementary age children are getting on a school bus. The kids’ backs are to the camera. They are running towards the school bus which is parked with its door open. It’s a rainy day and the kids are wearing jackets, rain boots and backpacks.

School buses are one of the safest forms of travel for your children, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, your child is 70 times more likely to get to school safely in a bus than in a passenger car, says the NHTSA. The actual bus stop, as well as getting to and from the stop, can be much more hazardous.  

As the school season starts, take some time to orient your child to the whole concept of the school bus stop. Take the time to drive them there and go over the ground rules. Doing so can reduce their risk of injury. Those ground rules should include:

  • The bus stop isn’t a place to play or horse around. Children can easily get caught up in playing with their friends. But your child should know that being near traffic is not a good place for roughhousing. 
  • Show them how to wait at least 3 big steps back from the roadway. They should wait about 6 feet away from the curb, which is about 3 big steps back.
  • Waiting to get on the bus. Show them how to wait for the school bus to come to a complete stop and for the doors to swing open, before they try to get on the bus.
  • Talk to them about crossing behind or in front of the bus. Let your child know to never cross behind a bus. It’s too difficult for the driver to see them back there, and for other vehicles to see them crossing. If they need to cross in front of the bus, they should tell the driver and then walk along the sidewalk 5 large steps (about 10 feet) and then cross only after making eye contact with the driver.

These tips come directly from the NHTSA. Taking a little time to educate your child about bus stop safety could go a long way in keeping them safe. 

Unfortunately, there are many distracted motorists on the roadways today. These motorists may not be looking at the road when your child is walking near the bus stop and traveling to and from home. So it’s a good idea to teach them a little defensive walking, so to speak.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident because of someone else’s negligence, please call the experienced injury attorneys at McPhillips, Fitzgerald & Cullum for a consultation. Call us in New York at 518-792-1174, or in Florida at 305-751-8556.

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