Keep Your Child Safe On The School Bus

Every morning, millions of Americans trust that their children will safely catch the school bus to and from school. Most of these children do exactly that. They ride the bus safely there and back. As safe as this mode of transportation is, accidents do happen. It seems that almost every day there is some type of school bus accident in the news. What do you need to do to help to ensure that your child is not a statistic? Here are a few suggestions that will give you food for thought. 

Ensure That Your Child Knows Bus Safety

School bus safety use to be something that was taught in school. While it is still mentioned at the beginning of the school year, it is not always something that is drilled into the children by anyone other than the driver.

  • Make sure that your child understands that he or she plays an important role in ensuring that they are safe on the bus.
  • Encourage them to take a seat and stay seated as long as the bus is in motion.
  • Explain to them the dangers that jumping up, running down the aisle, and throwing things across the bus can cause.

Anything that distracts the driver, can put them at risk of being in an accident. While they will not be able to control the actions of others, they can control their own. 

Keep Them Safe At The Bus Stop

Many of the accidents that occur with school kids, occur at the bus stop. These accidents often occur when an approaching driver fails to see your child crossing the road or when children fail to yield to a stopped school bus. 

  • Encourage your school system to try to create stops that will keep the children from having to cross the road. This is often not possible due to the direction that the bus is traveling in.
  • If this is impossible, advise your child to wait until the bus comes to a complete stop prior to starting across the street. Even then it is important that your child still looks both ways before crossing.
  • Advise them that there should be no pushing or shoving when they are boarding or getting off of the bus.  

Support School Bus Restraints

When school bus accidents happen, your child is often thrown from one side of the bus to the other. This is because unlike when they ride in your personal vehicle, most children riding on the school bus  have no type of restraint. Seat belts on buses have been a hotly debated topic for many years. Proponents of having them installed are able to quote statistics to show that they would greatly reduce the amount of injuries that can occur in these types of accidents, while opponents state that children being restrained would reduce the efficiency in which they are able to be removed off the bus after an accident.

As of July 2013, there are only six states that have passed school bus seat belt laws. They are Louisiana, Texas, New York, California, Florida, and New Jersey. Of these six states, only four have fully implemented the seat belt requirement. Louisiana and Texas have not implemented this requirement due to lack of funding.

Be a voice. Rally to get a group of parents together to support this worthwhile cause. While parent advocacy groups often do not feel that they are being heard, politicians understand the impact that these types of advocacy groups can have. 

If your child is injured on the school bus, just know that you may be able to hold multiple parties responsible for your child's injuries. Not only may the driver who caused the accident be held responsible, but you may even have a case against the manufacturer of your child's bus. Your personal injury attorney, like one at Hilbrich Law office, will be able to tell you more.