Florida bus accidents are tragic, but school bus accidents tend to be even more frightening for parents and children. Each year, many Florida injuries to minors and children take place on school buses. About 25 million students nationwide take a school bus to school in the morning, and school bus accidents injure about 11 000 people and kill about 134 people nationwide each year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), between 2000 and 2005, 19% of school bus accidents were in fact pedestrian accidents in which pedestrians were killed. In about 4% of cases, school bus drivers were the victims of these pedestrian school bus accidents and in about 5% of cases, school bus passengers were the victims. In about 70% of school bus accidents, fatalities occurred to occupants of other vehicles (rather than the school bus itself).
According to The National Safety Council, parents should teach their children these school bus safety rules before the start of the school year:
1) When waiting for the school bus, students should stay away from traffic and should avoid playing around. Sometimes, students get pushed into the street during games while waiting for the school bus and this can easily lead to a Florida car accident. Students should also avoid straying onto private property, streets, or alleys while waiting for the bus.
2) When boarding the bus, students should line up away from the road and should wait until the school bus has made a complete stop and has opened its doors before approaching the vehicle. Teach younger children to use the handrail when entering the school bus.
3) When on the bus, students should sit down and remain quiet. Standing can cause serious injuries if the bus is in an accident. Each year, Florida brain injuries occur during school bus accidents because students were standing or were not seated during a collision. It’s important that students avoid distracting the bus driver as well. Many Florida bus accidents are caused by distracted drivers. When riding the bus, students should keep aisles clear. In the event of an accident, clear aisles make it easier to exit the bus.
4) When exiting the bus, students should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before using the handrails to exit the bus. Students should stay well away from the bus and the wheels of the bus.
5) One of the most dangerous situations when exiting the bus is crossing a street after getting off the bus. This is the situation in which most Florida pedestrian accidents involving schoolchildren take place. Although cars are required by law to stop when they see a school bus, not all drivers do this. If your child has to cross a street after disembarking from a bus, teach your child to walk ten feet in front of the bus and then turn around and wait from a signal from the driver before crossing. Students should obey driver signals and keep an eye out for traffic while crossing the street.