Riding a school bus is a great way for your child to get to school. Did you know that in the United States, 23 million students take the bus to and from school each day? Unfortunately, you may already know that the greatest risk involved is not riding the school bus, but getting on and off the bus. An average of 24 school-age children die in school transportation-related crashes each year (11 occupants and 13 pedestrians). Many parents overlook this issue, but we’d like to ask you to talk to your child about school bus safety and ways to stay safe around buses. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, below are a few tips to discuss with your child about bus stop safety.
Safety starts at the bus stop.
Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop with your child so you can show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.
Get on and off safely.
When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.
Use caution around the bus.
Your child should never walk behind the school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell your child to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street, to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing, to make sure the driver can see your child. If your child ever drops something, like a ball or book, near the school bus, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick the item up because the driver might not be able to see your child.
If you would like more information and tips on this topic, please visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/School-Buses