Back to School: Bus Safety Tips to Keep Your Children Safe

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Some of you may find yourself humming, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” That’s right – school is back in session meaning thousands of kids traveling to and from Tampa Bay schools on buses in addition to more congested roadways. Buses are, by the way, considered to be among the safest vehicles out there. Yet, according to traffic accident lawyers, there is still cause for concern when it comes to school bus crashes and related injuries.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a detailed report on school transportation crashes. The report looks at various factors, such as age range, number of fatalities, type of crash and time of day the incident occurred. According to the NHTSA report, there were over 1,200 fatal school transportation-related crashes from 2004 to 2013, and over 1,300 people were killed in those crashes. Two-thirds of the school-age pedestrians fatally injured were struck by a bus or school transportation vehicle.

Before children go back to school this year or start school for the first time, it is essential that both adults and children know traffic safety rules.

Below are several NHTSA school bus and school crossing safety tips you should review and keep in mind as we head into the 2015-16 school year:

  1. Always get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is due to arrive.
  2. Never run across the road to catch the bus.
  3. If you have to walk on roads where there is no sidewalk, walk against traffic. Try to stay off the road as much as possible.
  4. When crossing the street to get to the bus, always look left, then right, then left again. If cars or other objects are obstructing your view, go to the nearest corner crosswalk.
  5. When the bus approaches, stand at least three large steps from the curb.
  6. Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay to board before stepping onto the bus.
  7. Never walk behind the bus or close to the side of the bus. You could be in the driver’s blind spot.
  8. If you drop something near the bus, don’t pick it up until you tell the bus driver or he or she may not see you.

As adults, it is our responsibility to not only reinforce safety tips with our children, but also to make a habit of practicing safe driving at all times, particularly when driving through a school zone. It is imperative to put away any hand-held devices when driving through school zones, observe the posted speed limit, and watch for children crossing the street. If you are unsure if a school zone is active, always assume it is.

If you or your child has been injured as the result of a school transportation-related accident, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A.