Alaska schools will soon be beginning their 2014 school year. The beginning of a new school year is an exciting time, bringing many changes and experiences. It is also a significant change and potential challenge for drivers with the increase in road traffic.
With that in mind, it is important to keep in mind some basic safety tips for yourself (as a driver) and your children. Boarding and exiting a bus are the most vulnerable times for students and most injury accidents occur when students are outside of the bus. Help your children understand school bus transportation safety by practicing it yourself—never ride too close to a school bus, always stop when a school bus is loading or unloading passengers and don’t express frustration with having to stop and wait. Many accidents occur because drivers are impatient and attempt to go around a school bus that is stopped to load or unload passengers.
It is a good idea to remind your children about school bus safety as well. Some important safety rules include walking on the sidewalk when walking to and from the bus stop. Always be watchful of other cars and always use a crosswalk if one is available. Stand at least 6 feet away from the bus as it approaches. Once on the bus, find your seat, sit down, and stay seated at all times.
With that said, it is important to remember that school bus travel is actually very safe. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) riding a school bus is the safest form of daily transportation for students. An NHTSA report evaluating school transportation fatalities from 2001-2008 found that only 1% of students traveling by school bus were involved in fatal accidents compared with a 58% fatality rate when traveling with a teen driver, and a 23% fatality rate when riding with an adult driver.
Many of these basic rules that we all learned in kindergarten, such as following rules and directions, waiting your turn, and respecting authority. Teaching and practicing school bus safety, and knowing the rules of the road, helps keep everyone safe to ensure a productive and successful school year.
If you or a loved one has been injured by someone else (such as in a car accident), you should contact a personal injury attorney before talking with the insurance company. Car accidents can result in neck and back injuries. Contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden at 907-771-9002 for a free case evaluation. You can also visit our personal injury page, car accident page, and blog page for more information.