Now that school is back in session in Carlsbad, it is important for parents to think carefully about school bus safety. Whether you children ride a school bus or walk to school in areas with school buses, bus accident and injury prevention should be on your mind this fall and throughout the school year.
According to a recent report from ABC News, most child injuries involving school buses occur when a motorist fails to abide by traffic laws pertaining to school buses. For example, automobile drivers might fail to stop when a bus stops to let kids off, or car drivers might not pay attention when they are speeding along roads where children are waiting for a school bus. At the same time, kids can get injured while riding on school buses. Despite all of these injury risks, the report points out that “a school bus is one of the safest vehicles on the road.” What do you need to know about school bus safety and bus accident prevention?
School Buses are One of the Safest Ways for Kids to Get to School
First, if your child takes the bus to school, you should not panic. As the report emphasizes, school buses really are one of the safest ways for kids to get to school. To be sure, school bus drivers “have gone through extensive training to make sure the kids are safe when getting on and off the bus.” Data from the American School Bus Council supports this point, noting that “students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely if they take a school bus instead of traveling by car.”
Why are school buses safer than other forms of transportation? First, the structure of a school bus is such that passengers are safer than they would be in a smaller automobile. The color of school buses was also designed with safety in mind. With the bright yellow, they are less likely to be struck by cars, trucks, and other vehicles. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) also indicates that school buses are more regulated than any other vehicles on America’s roadways, and bus features (such as the extending stop-sign arm and the bright color) help to protect kids who are disembarking.
At the same time, however, school bus accidents do occur.
Learning More About School Bus Accidents and Safety Precautions
Although your child may be safer in a school bus than in another parent’s automobile, it is nonetheless important to keep in mind that accidents involving school buses can and do occur. As the ABC News report clarifies, a particularly high number of school bus-related accidents happen because drivers fail to stop when the stop-sign arms of a school bus is extended. Last year alone, about 96,000 incidents were reported in which motorists failed to stop—as traffic laws require—for a school bus. Accidents can also happen when students are not following bus rules, as well as when a school bus driver is negligent.
While parents cannot prevent every school bus accident, there are some safety measures we can take. The following are tips from Consumer Reports:
- Keep a safe distance from the bus as it approaches;
- Do not enter or exit a school bus until the drivers permits it;
- Stay as visible as possible to the school bus driver, which means walking at least 10 feet ahead of the bus when you cross in front of it and never crossing behind a bus;
- Use handrails when exiting the school bus;
- Wear a seat belt if one is available;
- Keep your arms, hands, and legs inside the bus;
- Remain in your seat while the bus is moving; and
- Do not get up from your seat until the bus has come to a complete stop.
Contact a Carlsbad Bus Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about filing a bus accident claim, a Carlsbad bus accident attorney can assist you. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about the personal injury services we provide to plaintiffs.
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