September is back-to-school time for students all over
the country. Amid the excitement of new teachers, classes and friends,
it's easy to forget the day-to-day hazards that go along with school
attendance - particularly for younger students. Transportation to and
from school, whether on the school bus, by foot or by car, is a
high-risk part of the day commonly overlooked in a new school year.
American Red Cross safety experts urge parents to set aside some time
with their children to discuss important precautions about school
Some 24 million children travel on buses to and from
schools and school-related activities each year, according to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Approximately
440,000 public school buses travel more than 4 billion miles, and
account for 10 billion student trips each year.
It is an unfortunate, but unsurprising reality: With
so many students and buses on the road in the mornings and afternoons
throughout the school year, many accidents occur each year in school
bus-related accidents. However, many bus accidents are preventable,
safety specialistís say. The majority of these injuries and deaths
were not the result of a bus crash, but occurred when students were
entering and exiting a bus.
The American Red Cross encourages families to develop
a safety plan, review basic safety rules for walking, biking or riding
to school, and decide what will be done in case of an emergency.
For Bus Riders
- Line up facing the school bus door, not along the side of the
- Don't play in the street while waiting for the school bus.
- Carry your belongings in a backpack or book bag.
- Never reach under a school bus to get anything that has rolled
or fallen underneath.
- After getting off the school bus, move immediately onto the
sidewalk or road shoulder, out of traffic.
- Wait for a signal from the bus driver before you cross the
street. Walk at least 10 steps away from the front of the bus so
that the bus driver can see you.
- Never cross the street behind the school bus.
- Young students who walk or ride bicycles to school also face a
of dangers. Remind children to follow the
For Walkers or Bikers
- Never walk alone - always walk with a buddy.
- Pay attention to all traffic signals and instructions from
crossing guards. Never cross the street against the light, even if
there are no cars coming.
- Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
- Walk your bicycle across intersections.
- Wear reflective material to be more visible to street traffic.
Anyone who rides in a car to school - or drives, in
the case of older
teenagers - needs to be particularly careful. Most
occur close to home.
For Car Passengers and Drivers
- Everyone in the car should wear a seat belt. They lower the risk
of injury in the event of a crash by 45 percent.
- Motor vehicles are the leading cause of death for people age 15
to 18 years old. Remind your teenager to take extra precautions if
he or she drives to school, or rides with another teenage driver.
- Make sure babies and young children are in safety seats at all
times during a car ride.
Parents should be familiar with drivers license
requirements this web site may be of assistance to you