Earlier this month, there were six school bus accidents over the course of three days in various states around the nation.
Of those accidents, one accident involved five children and two adults. All seven people suffered life-threatening injuries, and two of the children remain in the hospital. That same day in another state, a school bus driver pulled up to the stop to find a 7-year-old boy dead from a hit-and-run while he was waiting for the bus. Two days before, a 24-year-old woman struck and killed two 6-year-old twin boys and their 9-year-old sister when they were crossing the street after school.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school bus accidents resulted in over 1,300 deaths in the past decade all across the United States. In light of recent events, it is important that parents teach their children bus stop safety tips to avoid serious bus-related injuries. Some of these tips might include:
- Standing at least six feet from the road while they wait for the bus
- Making eye contact with bus driver and other drivers before crossing the road
- Walking ten feet in front of the bus and other cars when crossing the road.
- Using the crosswalk whenever possible
- Looking both ways before and while crossing the road
If possible, parents should also try to wait with their children until the bus comes and pick them up when the bus arrives. Parents should also consider having their children wear reflective lighting jackets when they are getting on and off the bus, so they are easier for drivers to see.
Additionally, the NHTSA reminds drivers to keep off phones and other distractions while driving and familiarize themselves with school bus traffic laws.
School bus accidents are far less common than other types of motor vehicle accidents. However, when they do occur, they can be catastrophic. As such, parents, drivers and children would all be wise to know and follow the rules for staying safe around school buses.