School Bus Safety

In America, an estimated 480,000 school buses carry 25 million students each year. School bus collisions are fairly rare when compared with other vehicle statistics on the road, but they still happen. Even though school buses are designed to keep children safe, other drivers on the road still need to proceed with caution. USA Today recently reported that school districts nationwide are installing new technology on school buses to improve the safety of young passengers.

Student Fatalities during School Travel Hours

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average, 19 school-age children are killed in school transportation crashes each year. Additionally, impacts to the front of the school-transportation vehicle happened in over 50 percent of fatal crashes. From 2000 to 2006, 43 percent of school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation related crashes were between the ages of five and seven. These statistics aren’t mentioned to paint a grim picture of school bus safety. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, school buses are statistically the safest mode of transportation for
getting children to and from school.

Teaching Children About School Bus Safety

The NHTSA offers parents some really great tips to discuss with their children. Since there are dangers outside of the bus, it’s important for parents to address bus-stop safety with children too. Listed below are some helpful tips for improving school bus safety.

School Bus Safety Tips

• Always listen to the bus driver.
• Don’t board the bus until the driver says it’s okay.
• Keep loose items in a backpack or bag.
• When the driver says it’s safe to get off of the bus, always take five big steps away from the front of the bus. Then stop at the edge of the bus, check left, right and left again before crossing.
• Always wait in the designated bus stop area.
• When boarding, immediately take a seat and stay in it while the bus is moving.
• Always alert the driver and ask him or her for help if you drop an item when getting on or off the school bus.

School buses are a safe way to get children to and from school, but there are still some risks involved. Speaking with children about school bus safety is a great way to reduce those risks.

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