National School Bus Safety Week
October 17, 2023
Each year, during the third week of October we observe National School Bus Safety Week. This year, the public education program designed to address the importance of school bus safety, runs from the 16th to the 20th of October. If you, your friends or loved ones have school-aged children, school bus safety and bus design are undoubtedly important topics in your household. Let’s take a look at what the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) says parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators and other interested parties can do to improve school bus safety for the nation’s youth.
According to the NAPT, more than 25 million American children ride the school bus every day. The association has a variety of safety tips for kids and their families, ranging from advice on how to pack up for the school day to what children should do once they get to the bus stop. Here are the NAPT’s important tips:
- When your child is getting ready for school, have them put all their items in a backpack or school bag so they do not drop things along the way
- Encourage children to wear bright, contrasting colors so it will be easier for drives to spot them
- Make sure kids leave home on time so they get to the bus stop before it is due to arrive, ideally at least five minutes early. Running after or in front of a bus is dangerous
- Walk your children to the bus stop or encourage them to walk in groups with other students. Groups are easier for drivers to see
- Practice good, responsible pedestrian behavior: walk on the sidewalk, and if there is no sidewalk stay out of the street. If you must walk in the street, walk single file, face traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as you can
- Stop and look left, right and left again when you are crossing the street. Do the same thing when passing driveways and alleyways. Exaggerate your head turns and narrate your actions so that your child knows you are looking left, right and left
- Have children wait in a location where the driver can see them when they are driving down the street. Try to avoid waiting in a house or car
- Do not allow children to play in the street. Playing with balls or other toys that can roll in the street can also be quite dangerous
- Warn children that if they drop something when they are getting on or off of the bus that they should never reach down to pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions
- Remind children to always look to the right when they are exiting the school bus
- If you meet your child at their bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited to see their parents or loved ones after school that they may dash across the street, forgetting important safety rules
- If children are allowed to bring cell phones or other electronic devices on the bus, make sure they are in a backpack or other type of holder so that kids can use handrails while boarding and departing the bus
- Make sure that cell phone use on the bus does not cause any distractions for the driver
Make sure you talk to your children about school bus safety regularly. If you want to learn more about, visit the NAPT’s infographic on National School Bus Safety Week here: https://www.napt.org/nsbsw.
Keeping kids safe should be one of the country’s top priorities, but millions of school buses still lack one of the most important safety features: seat belts. Although school buses are generally safer than motor vehicles, accidents that cause significant injuries and fatalities still happen every year. According to one study, there are approximately 60,000 accidents involving school buses each year. Of these, 14,000 result in children sustaining injuries. On average, 325 are fatal. Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that large school buses without seat belts do not pose a significant enough risk of injury or death to warrant the creation and implementation of a federal safety standard, saving the life of a single child is worth it. Call or email your local representatives to tell them how important it is to you and your family for school buses to have seat belts.
To commemorate this year’s National School Bus Safety Week, take some time to review safety tips with your children. Utilizing available resources is one of the best and easiest ways to protect kids from preventable injuries. If your child sustained a school bus-related injury, someone at our firm may be able to help. To learn more, contact a representative now.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947
If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.