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Boost Your Child's School Bus Skills

Most parents are surprised to learn that school buses are the safest way for children to travel to and from school. In fact, when it comes to teens, students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive if they take the bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends, according to the Department of Transportation.

Of course, accidents can still occur, particularly when children enter and exit the bus. They need to be particularly cautious around the school bus “danger zone,” which is the 10 feet in front, behind, and on each side of the school bus.

With this in mind, below are several important tips from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay to step onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the handrails that’s what they’re there for. Be careful that backpack straps and clothes with drawstrings don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Walk at least five giant steps (10 feet) away from the side of the bus.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.