5 tips for sharing the road with school buses
Children are 70 times more likely to get to school safely while on the school bus as opposed to riding in a car.
It’s that time of year again, and it won’t be long before the roads are once again dotted with yellow school buses. These roadway staples are an age-old sign of back-to-school season, and while it appears buses haven’t changed much over the decades, they are actually some of the safest vehicles on the road.
What makes them so safe? School buses, of course, come equipped with that eye-popping paint job so that they’re highly visible. But that’s just the start. They include features such as flashing red lights, enormous cross-view mirrors and stop-sign arms. The interior boasts protective seating, high crush standards and rollover protection features. They’re the most regulated vehicles on the road, with laws protecting children getting on and off of the bus.
Little ones are 70 times more likely to get to school safely while on the school bus as opposed to riding in a car, but did you know that despite hefty traffic laws, more school-age pedestrians have been killed during the hour before and after school than any other time of day (according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration)?
As a driver, here are some tips for sharing the road with school buses and children:
- When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school. Also be on the lookout for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
- Be alert! Children in a hurry to catch the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
- Educate yourself on bus signals. Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles. Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists on both sides of the road must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
- If you're driving behind a bus, allow some room. The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
- Remember that it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
KFB wishes you a happy and safe back-to-school season!
>> We want you to be safe out there on the road… but accidents still happen.
At Kentucky Farm Bureau, we’ve got agents in all 120 counties. Click to find one near you.