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Back to School Means Back on the School Bus: Safety Tips For Parents to Keep Kids Safe

Parents may be surprised to learn that school buses are in fact the safest way for kids to get to and from school; safer even than their own cars.

According to the National Highway Transportation Administration, students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive if they take the bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends and about 20 times more likely to arrive safe than in a car driven by an adult.

School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury, and school bus drivers are carefully screened and trained in loading and unloading of kids, security and emergency medical procedures and, of course, the all-important art of “student behavior management.”

The biggest dangers for kids, the NHTSA says, come when they are approaching or leaving a bus, not riding in one. As such, the following tips can help kids avoid serious injury or other problems in the school bus “danger zone,” which is the 10 feet in front, behind, and on each side of the bus:

  1. Wait until the driver says it is safe to board. Then get on one at a time.
  2. Once you’re off the school bus, walk five giant steps from the front of the bus, cross in front of the bus when the driver indicates it is safe, stop at the edge of the bus – look left-right-left again for traffic, and if there’s no traffic, cross the street.
  3. Ask the driver for help if you drop something while getting on or off the school bus.Keep your loose items inside your backpack or book bag.
  4. Once on the school bus, go directly to your seat and sit down facing forward. Remain in your seat facing forward when the school bus is moving.
  5. Be respectful of the school bus driver, and always obey his or her instructions.

The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation has information regarding the upcoming school year’s bus routes and related issues here. Have a safe and successful start to the 2014-2015 school year!

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NEIL CHAPMAN, LAWYER

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(812) 426-0600