When the big yellow bus swings around the corner and nears the corner bus stop, it can be an exciting moment for both kids and parents. It marks the real start of the new school year.
Every year, U.S. school buses carry 25 million children to and from school, according to the American School Bus Council. School buses also boast an impressive safety record: School-bus involved crashes amount to less than one percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, the NHTSA says that the bigger risk to student safety isn’t riding the bus, but getting on and off the bus. Before the exciting day arrives, do a quick review of bus safety tips with your children.
Be aware of cars. Aside from your kids heading off to school, morning is a busy time of day in the neighborhood, with grownups racing out the door to work. Teach kids to stay on the sidewalk and never cross an intersection until the car is stopped, they make eye contact with the driver and no other cars are approaching.
Safe waiting. While waiting for the bus, kids should stay at least three giant steps back from the curb. Because of the bus stop’s proximity to the street, discourage kids from horseplay and running games too close to the street.
Don’t cut it short. When young kids are running late, they can quickly forget the safety rules and run right into the street without looking for cars. Get kids into the habit of leaving five minutes before the bus’s scheduled arrival. In fact, during the first week of school, it doesn’t hurt to give them a bigger cushion of time because schedules can vary until the driver gets the route down.
Boarding safely: Everyone loves to grab their favorite seat. But it’s more important to board the bus safely. The safest way to do this is to stay back on the curb and not approach the bus until it comes to a complete halt and the door swings open.