Automobile Information: School Bus Safety | Car Title Loans

Written by Carly Hallman
Yellow School Bus

For a student, taking a school bus is much safer than taking a car. This is due to the many safety regulations applied to buses that are not applied to cars, as a car isn’t specifically designed to transport children. In addition, the design of buses is meant to protect children in case of an accident. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful in and around buses. For example, simply making sure to walk across the street in front of a bus rather than behind can save children from cars that don’t stop quickly enough or don’t expect a kid coming from that direction. Whether you’re driving or riding the bus yourself, it’s important to do what you can to keep everyone safe.

Stay Safe at the Stop

The number one safety tip for getting on buses is to stay out of the road. This seems like an obvious concept, but children will often step off the curb to meet the vehicle. It’s risky and unsafe. Kids waiting for the school bus should take three steps back from the curb when the bus arrives to make sure that they’re well out of the road and visible to the bus driver.

Sometimes, the stop is on the opposite side of the road from where you need to be. While a bus has lights and signs to protect children from automobile traffic, it’s still important to look left, right, and then left again before you cross in front of the bus. You should also cross far enough in front of the bus that you’re visible to the driver. They will motion to you when it’s safe to cross the street in front of the bus. Never cross the street behind the bus: The driver can’t see you or help you, and you may be at risk of being hit by a car back there.

If you’re driving yourself to or from school and encounter a school bus, make sure that you keep an eye out for kids who might be crossing the street. Also, if you meet a school bus that’s stopped to let kids on or off, you should stop at least 10 feet back; wait until the flashing red lights stop and the bus starts moving to proceed. In many places, this is the law.

Stay Safe on the Bus

As kids, it’s drilled into our heads to wear seat belts whenever we’re in an automobile. However, many buses don’t have seat belts, and that’s OK. Buses are designed with safety in mind: The seats are self-contained shock absorbers, and the huge size of buses means that the force is distributed across the entire vehicle. That makes it safe to not wear seat belts on full-size buses.

The best way to be safe is to listen to the bus driver and stay in your seat. The seats can’t absorb the energy of a crash if you’re standing in the aisle. The driver has been trained on the best safety practices and is trying their best to keep you safe. Don’t overload seats with more people than can comfortably fit, stay seated and facing forward, and you’ll arrive at school safely.

To and From the Bus Stop

Part of taking school buses is getting to and from the stop every day. This requires a knowledge of basic road safety for any child. When kids start going to school, they are often too young to walk to the bus stop themselves and must be accompanied, but as they grow older, they can start making the walk themselves. If you’re driving to and from school, keep an eye out for kids near bus stops to keep them safe. If you’re walking to or from the bus stop, always look both ways before crossing the street. Stay on the sidewalk or curb; stay out of the street unless there’s no other option. If there’s no sidewalk, walk against traffic so you can see all oncoming vehicles. If it gets dark before you get home, you should be wearing reflective clothing or a reflective backpack to make you more visible to drivers.