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School Bus Safety Tips for Drivers and Students

With children going back to school over the next few weeks, it means that there is going to be an uptick in school bus traffic on the roads. While everyone should know the basic legal rules about driving near school buses, such as not passing them when the stop sign is extended, there are a variety of other driving safety tips that people should keep in mind to keep kids safe and avoid school bus accidents. Additionally, parents should also take steps to keep their own children safe by reminding them about basic care when riding the bus.

Driving Safely around School Buses

School buses can often be difficult to drive near for a variety of reasons. They are large and unwieldy vehicles that take up much of the road and can be difficult to see around. They make frequent stops, and often wind through subdivisions and other smaller streets. Plus, they come with the likelihood that there are going to be children crossing the road, cutting in front of cars, and potentially not paying attention to their surroundings.

While these can be frustrating realities, several safety tips can make driving around school buses much easier and safer for everyone. One important thing to do is simply to know what to expect when driving behind a school bus. Anticipating frequent stops and plenty of kids milling about can help keep drivers alert and ready to avoid accidents. Beyond that, people should also ensure that they leave plenty of room between themselves and the back of the school bus. This helps avoid rear end collisions during one of the bus’s stops, and it can also improve both drivers’ views of the road.

Drivers should also be aware of the particular challenges that people driving school buses face. Notably, school buses, like most large vehicles, have significant blind spots. Consequently, drivers should take extra steps to ensure that they are visible in bus mirrors. Drivers should also know that people operating school buses are trained to drive defensively in order to keep kids safe, so they should anticipate slower speeds and the potential to stop for hazards such as railroad crossings.

Keeping Kids Safe on the Way to School

Of course, parents can also take steps to keep their children safe while riding the school bus. Parents should ensure that their kids know how to take proper safety precautions both while getting on and off the bus, as well as while actually riding in the bus. While waiting for or getting off the bus, parents should stress that it is important for kids to pay attention to their surroundings, watch for the bus and other cars, and stay on the sidewalk. Students should also be taught that the bus stop is not an area for running or playing, since that can lead to accidents in the street. Once kids board the bus, they should move to a seat immediately and stay seated throughout the whole ride. Additionally, they should avoid behavior such as throwing things out of windows, or tampering with emergency exits.

While school buses are some of the safest vehicles on the road, accidents do happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a school bus accident, contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney today. The attorneys at Pike & Lustig, LLP are prepared to help.

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