Watching your school-age child step on a bus in the morning can produce a lot of anxiety — for good reason. Accidents involving school buses can be devastating.
If your children are riding the bus this year, make sure that they understand the possible dangers. Go over the following safety rules for passengers of a school bus:
Entering and exiting the bus
The most dangerous times for a passenger always center around entering and exiting the bus — simply because you also have to contend with dangers from other drivers. To stay safe:
- Remain at your stop when the bus approaches. Do not step forward to approach the door of the bus until it comes to a full stop.
- Use the handrails when stepping into the bus, particularly if there is rain or snow on the ground.
- Even though all cars are supposed to stop when a school bus lets off its passengers, don’t assume that drivers will do so. Look both ways before you cross the street.
- Always stay in the driver’s view when you cross in front of the bus. Crossing too close to the bus may cause you to move out of the driver’s sight.
Riding the bus
It’s natural to get animated during a bus ride — especially on the way home. However, it’s also important to pay attention to safety. Therefore, always:
- Remain in your seat while the bus is in motion. A sudden stop could propel a standing rider onto the floor or into a metal bar, which could cause a serious injury.
- Keep the aisle free. Tuck any bags under your feet for the duration of the ride.
- Don’t shout or otherwise draw the driver’s attention. A distracted driver can make a serious mistake on the road and cause an accident.
Even if your child is cautious, accidents and injuries can still happen. If your child is injured and you believe the bus driver could have exercised more caution, you may have the right to ask for compensation through a personal injury claim against the school district or others.