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School Bus Safety: What All Kids Should Be Taught!

The news story last month out of California is leaving millions with many questions as they learn of the car accident that killed seven students and three adults.  A big rig FedEx truck crossed the median, it ran head-on into a bus carrying high school seniors. The collision was so intense that it led to explosions and a sea of flames.  Fortunately, many students were able to get out of the bus by jumping out the windows.

It is horrible to think of the consequences of this accident, but it is also important to remember that it could take place anywhere.  What would your child do if he or she was involved in an Atlanta auto accident or bus accident and you weren’t there to help?

Bus safety is often an emphasized topic at the beginning of the school year, but seems to take a back seat as thee year goes on. Though this incident was almost certainly unpreventable, it should serve as a reminder that lives are precious and fragile.  Knowing where to locate emergency exits, how to operate them, and how to react should unexpected circumstances arise is just the type of information students should be provided on each and every trip. Though many schools throughout the country are required to run bus drills a certain number of times each year, however, some student might have trouble remembering a drill that occurred early in the year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, all kids should be taught to:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

  • When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.

  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.

  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.

  • Use the handrails to avoids falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings, and book bags with straps don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.

  • Never walk behind the bus.

  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.

  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.
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