As far as transportation goes, school buses are the safest mode by far. School buses have a rate of 0.2 deaths per 100 million miles traveled; the rate of deaths in automobiles is eight times higher. Put another way, between 1994 and 2004, 71 school bus passengers died in crashes compared to 31,693 people killed in crashed in cars and light trucks in 2004 alone.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to look at how we might prevent even more personal injuries by teaching our children to use school bus safety tips.
Getting on the Bus:
- When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and stand at least 10 feet away from the bus until it is time to board. Avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can cause distraction from nearby traffic.
- Stay at the bus stop – do not stray onto the street or private property, or into alleys.
- Line up in the direction away from the street or road as the bus approaches.
- Wait until the bus has stopped completely and the door opens before walking toward the bus.
- Use the handrail when boarding.
Behavior on the Bus:
- Speak in a normal voice; avoid screaming or other loud noises that could distract the driver.
- Stay seated the entire trip.
- Never put your head, arms, or hands out a window.
- Store backpacks, books, and bags under the seat in front of you; keep aisles clear to avoid a tripping hazard.
- Gather your belongings together just before reaching your stop.
- Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat.
Getting Off the Bus:
- Use the handrail when exiting.
- Before stepping off the bus, look to make sure a car isn’t coming.
- If you have to cross in front of the bus, walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus until you can see the driver and he or she can see you. If your vision is blocked, move a few feet in either direction until you can see the road clearly. Wait for his or her signal before crossing then look left and right then left again; you are looking to check that the road is clear or that cars on each side are stopped.
- While crossing keep an eye out for sudden changes in traffic.
- Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times.
- Don’t linger or play near the bus after you have exited.
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