As American parents send their kids back to school, many of these young students will be riding on school buses, and some for the first time - so just how safe are school buses? First, the good news: statistically, school buses are the safest form of transportation on the road, and they have more safety equipment on board than any other vehicle. Even so, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) details how from 2003 to 2012, 174 school-age children died in school transportation-related crashes. 55 of those children were in school vehicles (buses, etc.), while 119 were pedestrians. Surprisingly, seat belts are still not required on school buses.
How can you ensure that your child will be safe on their school bus ride? Let's go over the main points:
- Get to know the driver - trust your gut instinct. After all, your child's life will be in their hands.
- Find out how school bus drivers in your district are screened. Are there periodic checks of their driving record?
- Know which neighborhoods the school bus's route goes through. Assess their safety. Make a plan with your child in case they are dropped off at the wrong spot.
- All pre-school children should have seat belts. It's federal law.
- Make sure all vans have seat belts.
- Check if your school bus has the following safety features:
- Snub-nose design for increased driver visibility.
- Gate arm extenders.
- Video cameras on board.
- Seat belts.
All of these tips are useful for assessing the safety of your child's daily ride on the school bus. Peace of mind comes from adhering to a few common-sense rules and an awareness of what's happening in your community.
Source: 365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe