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School Bus Dangers

By Evan L. Kaine

As parents we entrust our schools, transportation systems and officials to keep our children safe at all times. Unfortunately, accidents happen and we can’t control the unexplainable dangers our children may face. A horrific scene on Monday left a five-year-old kindergartener dead when his own school bus struck him.  The accident occurred when the bus was dropping-off the five year old, but then struck him. Currently, authorities are investigating what actually happened when the little boy was dropped off at his grandmother’s home.

This type of news is something we never want to read, witness or experience. However, the topic should be discussed because both parents and children should know the dangers of bus accidents. Traveling to and from school on a bus is regarded as one of the safest ways.

According to the American School Bus Council (ASBC), school buses are designed to be safer for children than riding in the car with their parents. A bus is 50 times safer than riding to school in a car due to the size and weight of the vehicle. The ASBC says that students are 20 times more likely to arrive unharmed if they take the bus rather than ride with their parents.

However, when we receive news like this story from Kentucky, it is easy for parents to believe their children are safer when they are under their own supervision. While riding in a bus is safer, the topic of what children do around a bus should be addressed. We still don’t know all of the details from Monday’s accident Monday, but we can take away some safety tips for when we load and unload our children at the bus stop.

The size of a bus alone can be overbearing. While the bus obtains cross-viewed mirrors, the inability to see a small child goes up ten-fold. Consumer Reports suggests the following to discuss with your children before they enter or exit a bus:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least 6 feet away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 feet ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing or backpacks don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you

The discussion on bus safety needs to be had in all households across the country. These types of tragedies may be prevented if we sit down and have conversations with our children before their next bus ride. Please stay safe and contact us if an accident like this has happens to you.

For more information on this article, contact Kaine Law.

Published September 30, 2015
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