Are school buses safer than driving my child by car?
With the new school year upon us, parents across the state of West Virginia are making plans for the transportation of their children. School buses have long been the select mode of transportation for most families, but media stories describing bus accidents may have some parents questioning the safety of the big yellow bus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that riding on a school bus is the safest mode of transportation for children. Children are seven times less likely to be injured in an accident while traveling on a bus than in a car.
Despite this tremendously positive safety record, bus accidents still occur. Parents should review the tips offered by our West Virginia personal injury attorneys to help keep their children safe while riding the bus this year.
Instruct your child to never walk behind a bus
School buses are large vehicles with substantial blind spots both on the sides and in the back. You should teach your child where a bus’s blind spots exist and instruct children to never walk behind a school bus as buses could back up without noticing the child behind.
Teach children to stay in their seat
For their safety, children should stay in their seats facing forward at all times. Children who roam the aisle or stand up could be at risk of injury if the bus must make a sudden stop. Even further, children turning around in their seats and causing a commotion can prove distracting to the bus driver. If your child’s bus has seatbelts, be sure your child buckles up.
Do not pass a stopped school bus
West Virginia law requires that on all undivided highways, traffic in both directions must come to a stop at least 20 feet from a school bus with its lights flashing.
Secure your child’s drawstrings and straps
Bus accidents can happen when children with dangling backpack straps or drawstrings on their clothing become accidentally trapped in the bus doors. Children can be dragged and seriously injured. Prevent this problem by securing any clothing or accessory item on your child which could become stuck.
If your child is injured in a bus accident, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your child’s legal rights.