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Back to School Safety: Tips for Getting On and Off the Bus

It’s hard to believe that children will be headed back to school in a few short weeks. For those kids who will take the bus, the start of the new school year is a good time to brush up on how to stay safe.

Overall, school buses are one of the safest ways for children to travel to and from school. However, accidents still occur, particularly as children are getting on and off the bus. From 2004 to 2013, 1,344 people were killed in school-transportation-related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The NHTSA statistics also reveal that more than two-thirds (67 percent) of the school-age pedestrians fatally injured in crashes were struck and killed by school buses or other vehicles functioning as school buses. That’s why it is important for children to always exercise caution around school buses.

Many children are not aware that there is a blind spot that extends approximately 10-feet in front of the bus, which can obstruct the driver's view. So just because the children can see bus, that does not mean that the bus driver can see them.

Below are several other important tips to share with your kids:

  • Arrive at the school bus stop five minutes early, so you won’t have to run across the street to catch the bus.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing a street
  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid horseplay. The safest place to wait is at least five giant steps away from the curb or the roadway.
  • Always walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus when crossing so that the school bus driver can see you.
  • Wait until the school bus has stopped all traffic before stepping out onto the road.
  • Never cross the street behind the school bus.
  • If you leave something on the bus or drop something outside of the bus, don’t go back for it. The driver may not see you and begin moving the bus.