School’s in Session and the Buses are Out and About

School buses strike up different feelings for different people. If you have children and they ride the big yellow to work, you love them. On the other hand, those of you without kiddos probably hate them. Speaking of someone without children, I can completely understand why some of you have a strong dislike for the big yellow, but that doesn’t mean we can break those safety rules encompassing them.

Did you know that there is an average of 139 fatalities per year involving school transportation-related crashes? That’s right, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most of these fatalities aren’t to the children on the buses, but rather to occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes (72 percent) or to other non-occupants of the buses, such as those who are walking and biking to school (20 percent). If that right there isn’t enough to grab your attention, I’m not sure what will.

In order to lower these statistics and educate motorists, ConsumerReports.com has shared a list of rules we all need to follow. Read them, learn them, use them!

  • Never pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. It is illegal in all 50 states. Also, never pass a school bus on the right — it is illegal and dangerous.
  • If you are traveling in the same direction as a stopped school bus, you must stop as well.
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to pickup or drop off children. If you are driving, slow down and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate that the bus is stopped, and that children are getting on or off. This, of course, means that you have to stop as well.
  • When waiting with your own child, teach them to wait until the stop arm is fully extended and the bus door opens before moving toward the bus.
  • The area ten feet around a school bus is at the highest risk for child being hit, so stop your car further than that to allow space for children to enter or exit. Most states have distance requirements, and they may be much further away than you may think.
  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school. Better yet, walk around your car or out to the sidewalk to check for any children walking in your path before you get in.
  • Be aware that roads that pass close schools may have slower speed limits during arrival and dismissal times than during non-school hours and that those limits are often more strictly enforced.
  • Drive slowly and watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks. Also be aware of children playing or waiting around bus stops.
  • Be alert and aware on the road. While children are typically taught about looking both ways, they could dart into the street without looking if they are late or distracted.

On a final note, I think it’s important to mention that the majority of school-bus related auto injuries happen in the afternoon rather than the morning. So be wary during both times. Safe travels, Dallas Ft Worth Chevy drivers!

[Source: ConsumerReports]

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

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