Time flies when you’re having fun! As another summer winds down, kids across our state are getting ready to go back to school. For a few months, our morning commutes see less cars and buses because school is out. Come the end of August, classes will be back in session and school buses around every corner. What can students and drivers do to safely transition from the carefree days of summer to the new school year?

School Bus Facts

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), students are about 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely by bus than traveling in a car. Less than 10 percent of school-transportation vehicle fatalities involve the occupants of the bus, while about 20 percent involve pedestrians and bicyclists.

During the school year, it’s critical to follow the rules of the road to keep students safe. In this article, we’ll discuss how to safely wait for, ride and get on and off the bus, as well as how drivers can share the road.

Safety Tips for Students

Getting to and from school safely is a two-way street. Both kids and drivers should act with caution and always be alert. When waiting for the bus, students should:

  • Arrive early; showing up late could result in kids darting out into the road
  • Stay on the grass or sidewalk; drivers may round curves close to the curb
  • Look both ways before crossing the road to get on the bus
  • Be careful getting on and off the bus, especially if the steps or ground are slick from weather

Arriving at school is half the battle. When students are shuttled off the bus:

  • Look before crossing in front of a stopped bus; stay visible ahead of the yellow swing bar
  • Obey pedestrian laws; wait for the crossing guard’s signal to enter a roadway

Safety Tips for Drivers

Too many kids are struck, injured and even killed by drivers in a hurry. There is no excuse for passing a stopped school bus and endangering the lives of children. Drivers should always:

  • Look both ways before backing out of a driveway
  • Avoid distractions behind the wheel (i.e. cell phones)
  • Slow down near bus stops, where kids may be gathered
  • Look for kids walking or biking to and from school
  • Obey the posted speed limit, especially in school zones
  • Stop for buses loading and unloading kids on either side of the road

Community safety is of the utmost importance to everyone here at Trantolo & Trantolo. Let’s all avoid distractions, stay alert behind the wheel and obey the rules of the road to keep our school zones and neighborhoods safe. If your child has been injured by a reckless driver, contact our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers for the justice your family deserves.