School bus safety is not limited to when buses are in transit. Children are at risk for an injury when they are waiting for the bus, entering the bus, or exiting the bus. Inattentive bus drivers and negligent motorists do not always watch children or take steps to avoid causing an injury. It is important for parents to teach their children school bus safety to help reduce the risk of serious injury from a bus accident.
School Bus Safety Tips for Parents
As a parent, there are steps you can take to decrease the risk of injury for your child. Whenever possible, walk with your child to the bus stop and wait with your child until he or she is safely on board the bus. Even if you do wait at the bus stop with your child, you should also teach your child the following safety procedures for school buses:
- Never roughhouse or horseplay while waiting for the bus, especially when lining up to board the bus because you or another child could be pushed or shoved into the street.
- Stay away from the street until the bus comes to a complete stop and the driver indicates it is okay for you to board the bus.
- When boarding and exiting the bus, use the handrail.
- Line up in a straight line as the bus approaches and wait to board the bus one at a time.
- Always stay in your seat while the bus is moving.
- Never put your arms or hands out of the bus window.
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before standing to exit the bus.
- Talk in quiet voices and avoid actions that can distract the bus driver.
- If you must cross the road, do so in the front of the bus and wait for the driver to tell you it is safe to cross. Always look both ways for cars even though the driver has indicated it is safe to cross the road.
- Stay away from the wheels at all times.
- When exiting the bus, move onto the sidewalk or off the road as quickly as possible and stay off the road as you walk to your destination.
In addition to bus safety, if your child is walking to a bus stop, you should also review safe pedestrian habits. Young children do not understand the danger of traffic; therefore, you must remind your child periodically of the safety rules for walking to and from the bus stop.
- Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road away from traffic.
- Walk in groups.
- Only cross roads at crosswalks.
- Look both ways before crossing roads.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing roads to ensure the driver sees you.
- Do not wear headphones or use electronic devices while walking to and from the bus.
You can find more safety tips and resources on the Safe Kids Worldwide website.
School Bus Safety Tips for Drivers
As a motorist, you must take steps to avoid an accident with a school bus, including a pedestrian accident with a child or parent. To reduce the risk of an accident involving a school bus or child, remember these safety rules:
- Always stop when you see the flashing red signs or the stop sign for a school bus.
- Do not pass a school bus from behind when the bus is stopped to load or unload children.
- Allow at least 10 feet or more between you and the bus when you stop to ensure you can see all sides of the bus and allow children enough room to move safely.
- Avoid distractions! Children are unpredictable. They can run out into the road without warning. You must be alert to watch for children who may dart into the road when the bus is approaching.
- Always wait until children are safely on the sidewalk or in the yard before moving. Move slowly as you start off after stopping for a bus in case the child runs back to the road for any reason.
Call an Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer for More Information
When your child is injured, your first priority is to seek the best medical care for your child. After your child is stable, you should also seek experienced legal representation for you and your child. It is critical that you seek experienced assistance in determining bus accident liability to protect your child’s right to recover compensation for his or her injuries.
For a free legal consultation, contact the team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond by calling 1-800-567-HURT. You may also visit our website to speak to someone now.