With the start of the school year, concerns about transportation safety for kids come to the forefront of people’s minds.
According to data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest way for kids to travel to and from school; they’re significantly more likely to sustain fatal injuries when riding in a car (or driving one themselves, when they’re teens). However, there are still important school bus safety concerns to address.
Many of these concerns stem from the behavior of other drivers on the road and from the potential dangers at bus stops. The following are three important bus stop safety tips:
1) If you’re driving in the vicinity of a school bus, you need to come to a full stop when the stop-arm of the bus is extended
You need to do this regardless of the lane you’re in or the direction you’re going. (The only time you don’t have to stop is if you’re heading in the opposite direction of the bus on a highway with a barrier or unimproved median. Otherwise, even on a road with multiple lanes, the law requires that you to stop.) Impatient drivers may try to keep going anyway, and what could ultimately happen is that they hit a child crossing the street.
2) Use good judgment about when your child can walk unaccompanied at a bus stop
A large part of the decision would depend on your child’s age. But also consider their overall maturity level and whether or not they’re prone to neglect road safety.
3) Do a careful review of safe behavior with your kids (and model good behavior for them)
This includes the following:
- Always look both ways before crossing the street, even when the stop-arm on the bus is out or the traffic light is yours; you never know when there will be a negligent driver who decides not to come to a full stop or yield to a pedestrian.
- When possible, stick to crosswalks, and never dart out onto the street from between parked cars, trees or other roadside obstacles.
- When waiting for the bus, don’t stand on the road or on the edge of the curb.
- When crossing the street by a bus, don’t linger next to the bus, and do your best to stay in sight of the bus driver; don’t disappear from their line of sight, for instance by bending over to tie a shoe or pick something up when you’re next to the bus.
Hopefully, these preventative tips will keep your kids safe throughout the school year. However, if you or your child is involved in an accident, be sure to contact the reputable Indianapolis accident lawyers at Ken Nunn Law. Your child’s safety on the road depends not only on their own behavior, but also on what drivers choose to do in the vicinity of a bus stop.