According to the NHTSA, an average of five school-going children die yearly in accidents involving school transportation vehicles. While this is a small fraction of road-related fatalities in a year, it is an indication that your child can get injured in a school bus accident.
The good news is that you can help your kids arrive safely by teaching them important precautions to observe when riding the school bus. Here are a few tips you should teach your child.
The Safest Seat In A School Bus
Almost everybody likes sitting next to the window because there is a better view. However, sitting next to the window means a risk of bearing a full brunt of impact should the bus get into a side collision.
The safest place for your child to sit is either in the middle or close to the back in an aisle seat on the right-hand side. Most school bus head-on collisions affect the front, while rear-end collisions affect the back end. So, you do not want your child to sit too close to the front or back.
While picking the safest seat can help reduce the extent of injury, it does not help prevent an accident. Luckily, you may be eligible to recover compensation if your child or children are injured in a school bus collision. However, it would be best to let an injury lawyer handle your bus accident claims so you can focus on your child’s welfare.
Seat Belts Can Help
According to the NHTSA, larger school buses distribute the impact of a crash over a wider area meaning the passengers experience less force. Therefore, large school buses are not required to install safety belts. But some schools still choose to install them to enhance safety.
The NHTSA requires school buses weighing less than 10,000lbs to have seatbelts. If your child’s school bus has seat belts, encourage them to wear them.
Always Stay Seated When The Bus Is In Motion
Children are rarely calm and will find a fun game to play at any moment. But games and a moving vehicle do not go together. So it would be best if you stressed to your child the need to remain seated while the bus is in motion, even when approaching their stop.
If a driver accelerates or stops suddenly, a standing student stands a high risk of losing their balance and being thrust onto other students, bus seats, or the floor, which can result in severe injuries.
Avoid Waiting Too Close To The Road
Inside the bus is not the most dangerous place for a child when going to school. Most accidents happen when the child is waiting for or boarding a bus. If your child is relatively young, walking them to the pickup zone is the best way to monitor their actions.
Ensure that they do not wait too close to the road or engage in an activity that could put them in danger of being hit by the approaching bus or other vehicles on the road. Also, ensure they get there on time to avoid running to the bus, which can be dangerous.
Teach Them Not To Pick Up Items Near The Bus
It is common for a child to drop an item near or under the bus. After dropping an item, the first thing in a child’s mind will be to pick it. Unfortunately, bending to pick up something from under the bus could mean getting out of the bus driver’s vision and risking being run over.
To ensure such a scenario never occurs, teach your child never to pick up items that fall near the bus but seek the driver’s help. Alternatively, they can notify the driver before picking up the item so that they know the child’s presence near the bus.