The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is currently observing National School Bus Safety Week. According to WJTV News Channel 12, officials with the MDOT are encouraging motorists and parents to take part by practicing safe school bus precautions and talking to children about school bus safety this week. School buses are actually the safest way to get children to and from school each day. They're large, highly visible vehicles that are designed to keep kids safe in the event of a crash. Actually, the most dangerous part of riding a school bus is boarding and exiting the vehicle.
The Danger Zone
Most school bus related injuries and deaths happen in the "danger zone." The danger zone is a ten-foot bubble around the entire bus. These injuries and deaths typically happen when boarding or exiting the bus, when bus drivers don't see children. Parents are reminded to talk to their kids about the danger zone, and tell them how to stay safe when boarding and getting off of the bus.
Tips for Kids
• Never walk behind the bus.
• Walk at least three big steps away from the side of the bus when walking around it and take at least five big steps when in front of it.
• If you drop something, tell the bus driver. Don't try to pick it up first. Let the driver know that you need to bend down to find your item.
• Make sure the bus driver can see you when you're walking in front of the bus. Make eye contact.
School Bus Safety Tips for Motorists
• Don't text and drive or participate in any other kind of distracted driving behavior.
• Don't overtake a school bus, unless you are on a highway or interstate with multiple lanes.
• Be mindful of pedestrians and children at bus stops and crosswalks.
• Red flashing lights means that children are boarding or exiting.
• Yellow flashing lights means the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children.
After a Bus Accident
Although school buses are statistically the safest way to get your children to and from school, they're not totally without risk. If your child has been injured in or around a school bus, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC is standing by to answer your questions about school bus accidents.