It is that time of the year again! As summer ends, school buses return to the road once again. According to the National Safety Council, 25 million students nationwide take the school bus on a daily basis [A]. Even though riding the school bus is the safest choice for students (eight times safer to travel via school bus when compared to other forms of transportation), there are increased dangers present to students when boarding and departing the bus [B].
Here are some school bus safety tips:
- Never pass a school bus with flashing lights:
In the state of California, you must stop when driving from either direction (does not apply to multiple-lane or divided highways) until the children are safely on the street and the school bus lights stop flashing [C]. Moreover, the yellow flashing lights signal you to slow down and prepare to make a complete stop. When the red light flashes, your vehicle must be fully stopped.
- Be aware of children entering or exiting the bus:
The majority of school-bus related accidents occur when children are crossing the street. Drivers, it is important to be aware of the flashing lights and children crossing the street. Parents, teach your children to wait on the sidewalk until instructed to cross by the bus driver or crossing guard. Also, children should never walk behind the school bus or someplace where the driver’s view may be blocked.
- Maintain a safe distance from the school bus:
School buses make frequent stops, including at all railroad crossings. Maintain a 2-3 second distance from the bus at all times. Be mindful that school buses drive at a slower speed than regular traffic. Do not pass a school bus unless the driver signals you to do so. Remember, you may be in the blind spot of the school bus!
Remember – children are unpredictable and may not be aware of oncoming traffic while crossing the street. It is our job to keep our children safe! If your child was injured in a bus-related accident, you are not alone! Know your rights and get a free consultation.
Have a serious injury and need legal advice? Contact Howard Blau.