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Back to School and School Bus Safety

Back to School and School Bus Safety

The 2020 school year is nearly upon us, and it is one of the most unusual to date. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended most of our plans, and this certainly includes back-to-school plans. Whether your children are currently gearing up to head back to school or not, however, now is a good time to talk about school bus safety.

Your Kids’ School Bus

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares that, because they transport children, school buses are the most regulated vehicles on our roadways. All of the following apply:

  • School buses are designed to be highly visible, including having flashing red lights.

  • School buses have multiple safety features, including cross-view mirrors, protective seating, and rollover and crush-protection features.

  • School buses have stop-sign arms that legally require other motorists to stop (from both directions) in all 50 states.

The law takes children’s safety extremely seriously, which is exactly why school buses themselves are held to higher safety standards.

Why Don’t School Buses Have Seatbelts?

While school buses are designed for children’s safety, they generally do not have seatbelts, which is confusing for many parents. While seat belts are exceedingly important for protecting the occupants of most vehicles from injury, school buses incorporate different kinds of protection that work very well, including:

  • Full-size school buses are very heavy, and as such, the occupants of these buses experience far less crash force in accidents.

  • Students on school buses are protected via a safety concept known as compartmentalization – including strong, close seats with energy-absorbing backs – which better equips a bus’s interior to protect the children within (without the need for seat belts).

Smaller school buses, on the other hand, are required to have a designated seat belt for every passenger.

Beware of Bus Stops

When it comes to school bus safety, bus stops are the weak link. Children are at far greater risk of being injured when they are entering or leaving their bus than they are while riding in it. Teaching your child about bus stop safety – and frequently reviewing this information – can help. Consider all of the following:

  • Remind your children to enter and exit their bus safely, which means after it has come to a complete stop and after the bus driver has indicated it is safe to proceed.

  • Teach your children to exercise extreme caution around the bus, which includes crossing well ahead of it and only after making eye contact with its driver.

  • Teach your children to follow the bus driver’s directions when exiting the bus (regarding where to wait and where to walk).

  • Teach your children to be wary of traffic near their bus stop. Buses slow the flow of traffic, and not all motorists are as responsible and careful as they should be.

You Need an Experienced Killeen Personal Injury Attorney on Your Side

If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, has the experience, commitment, and compassion to skillfully advocate for your most favorable case resolution. For more information, do not delay contacting or calling us at 254-501-4040.
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