Back to School―Safely!
It’s August, and before you know it, children will be trading in their beach toys and bicycles for backpacks and school books…and parents everywhere will be worrying over their safe transportation to and from the classroom.
It’s a great time to revisit some bus stop safety practices and guidelines for kids and parents alike, and start the new school year off ready to travel with a sense of security. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) is the government agency responsible for setting the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs), in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes. The NHTSA government website states that: The school bus is the safest vehicle on the road―—your child is much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car. Although 4-6 school-age children die each year on school transportation vehicles, that is less than 1% of all traffic fatalities nationwide.
Some 25 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus. Designed for safety, with flashing lights, giant mirrors, stop-sign arms and that bright yellow color, students are 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus instead of traveling by car. Again, according to the NHTSA website: That’s because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road; they’re designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries; and in every state, stop-arm laws protect children from other motorists.
Some of the features that make school buses safer include:
- A special type of safety restraint system proven to work well
- The heavy size and crash distribution properties of a school bus versus passenger cars, light trucks, and vans
- The design of the interior of school buses, which compartmentalizes the seating for children with strong, closely-spaced seats with energy-absorbing seat backs.
SAFETY IS A TWO-WAY STREET
So how can your child do even more to ensure they get to and from school each day with the best chance of staying safe? Some easy to incorporate tips that parents can help their children learn to follow will go a long way to helping keep this daily school day commute a positive experience.
- Arrive 5 Minutes Early Each Day At Your Designated Bus Stop
- Stay At Least 6 Feet Off The Curb Until The Bus Stops Safely
- Wait For The Bus Driver To Tell You It’s Ok To Board The Bus
- Use The Bus Handrail When Boarding the Steps Into and Off Of The Bus
- When In Your Seat, Keep Your Belongings Out of The Aisle
- Stay At Least 5 Giant Steps From The Bus At All Times Except When Getting On or Off
- Make Sure The Bus Driver Can See You When Moving Around The Bus
- NEVER WALK BEHIND THE SCHOOL BUS
Armed with these suggestions, August is the perfect time to brush up on these safety rules with your children and help them get ready to return to their daily commute with the knowledge they need to make the trip as safe and routine as possible.
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