For most kids throughout the state of Connecticut, September means the end of summertime and the start of a new school year. As such, there is no time like the present to review with children the importance of back-to-school school bus safety, including safely walking to the bus stop, waiting for the bus, riding the bus, and entering and exiting the bus. Here is some safety information to review with your child to reduce the risk of injuries and accidents this year:
When Walking to the Bus and Waiting at the Bus Stop
Thousands of students take the bus to school each morning, and most of these students get to the bus stop by walking. In walking to the bus stop, students may have to cross busy roads, or may walk in neighborhoods where car traffic is common. As such, it is important that kids know that:
- They should always stop, look, and listen before crossing a street, even if they don’t initially see any oncoming cars.
- They should walk – not run – when making their way to the bus stop. Running increases the risk of a trip and fall, which could lead to injuries.
- Making eye contact with drivers before crossing the street is important, and can help to ensure that the driver sees the child, and is stopping to allow them to cross.
- The walk to the bus stop, and the wait for the bus, are not the appropriate times for rough housing.
- When waiting for the bus, children should stand a safe distance from the curb. While bus drivers typically approach slowly and with care, a slip, trip, or shove from another student could be disastrous if a child is too close to the curb, therefore falling directly into the path of the bus.
If you can, you should walk with your kids to the bus stop and wait with them until the bus arrives.
Riding the Bus
Children should also exercise their safety skills when riding the bus. Remind your child that they should:
- Always stay seated when the bus is in motion. Kids should not change seats, turn around in their seats, or get up and move around to play or talk with friends.
- Should use seatbelts if they are available.
- Should always follow the instructions of the bus driver and any bus driver requests.
- Should comply with bus rules, such as no food and drink.
- Should minimize bus driver distractions, such as playing loud music, speaking too loudly, throwing things, getting out of their seat, and more. When a bus driver is distracted, the risk of accident occurs.
Boarding and Exiting the Bus
Boarding and exiting the bus should seem straightforward, but kids have a tendency to become easily distracted, which could increase their risk of an accident. Remind your child to always pay attention to where they are putting their feet, using a cellphone, talking to a friend, or playing could result in a missed step, and subsequent injuries.
It is also very important for children to remember that as soon as they exit the bus, they should enter the curb and a safe, off-of-the-road location as quickly as possible. Children should never walk in front of or directly behind a bus unless the bus driver has specifically indicated that they should do so, and traffic has been stopped on both sides of the road. A tragic accident can occur when a child crosses in front of a bus, and the bus driver fails to see them, or a vehicle behind the bus decides to go around, hitting the child.
What to Do If Your Child is Involved in a School Bus-Related Accident
If your child is involved in a school bus-related accident and suffers injuries, you will probably have dozens of questions about what happens next. When the accident was caused by the negligence of another party, you have the right to pursue compensation to cover your child’s and your family’s losses. It is important that you contact an experienced Connecticut school bus accident attorney in as soon as possible.
Our Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Serve You
There is nothing worse for a parent than an injury to their child. If your child is harmed in a school bus accident, our experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyers at the law offices of The APEX Law Firm, LLC will competently represent you. Contact The APEX Law Firm today at (860) 900-0900 in Hartford County to schedule a free consultation today or visit us at uptonlegal.com – our attorneys are ready to help you!