It's 13 times safer than riding in the car, in fact!
By Hollee Actman Becker
My daughter is starting high school in about a month. Which means she has been riding a big yellow school bus to and from her public school for the last nine years.
Or at least she would have been if I wasn't one of THOSE moms. You know, the ones who insist on driving their kids every day because they think it's somehow safer? Well, guess what? According to the National Safety Council, it turns out that those yellow buses are actually the safest way for students to get to and from school.
That's right; riding the bus is apparently 13 times safer than riding in the car, and 10 times safer than walking. Pretty shocking, right? But here's the thing—school buses are actually designed for safety, with flashing lights, large mirrors, high seat backs, and bright yellow colors.
According to the NSC, 23 million students take the bus to and from school in the U.S. each day. And the greatest risk involved is not riding the school bus, but getting on and off of it. An average of 24 school-aged children die in school transportation-related crashes each year. Yikes!
The council offers the following tips for keeping your kids safe around buses:
- While waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other distracting behavior.
- Line up away from the road as the bus approaches, and wait until it has stopped and the doors have opened before approaching.
- While on the bus, wait for the bus to stop completely before leaving your seat, and use the handrail when leaving the bus.
- Never walk behind the school bus.
- If you must cross the street in front of the bus, walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street, to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing, to make sure the driver can see you.
- If you drop something, like a ball or book, near the school bus, the safest thing is for you to tell the bus driver right away. Do not try to pick the item up because the driver might not be able to see you.
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld.