Bus Stop Safety In Focus as School Year Begins

As the new school year begins, we want to talk about the importance of bus stop safety.

The vast majority of students in Lee, Collier, and Charlotte counties commute to and from school by bus. When we look at the risks, it’s important to understand that most serious and fatal injuries occur while students are walking to and from bus stops, or while waiting for a bus. Fewer than 10 percent of injuries occur while riding the bus.schoolbus3-300x225

Several fatal tragedies in recent years have cast a spotlight on the issue of bus stop safety. With so much at stake for children and parents, our injury lawyers are diligent in evaluating bus stop design and location as contributing factors in serious accidents. However, it’s important for parents to understand that there is much they can do to help protect their children during the morning and afternoon commute.

Bus Stop Safety Tips

Substantial risk exists because young children are not well equipped to identify and avoid harm, while older children too often believe they are immune from obvious dangers. Choose a day to walk to your child’s bus stop and observe what specific risks they may encounter. This will give you a chance to determine the safest route for them and reinforce preventative behaviors that can save lives.

  • Pick a route with sidewalks. Many neighborhoods in Southwest Florida only have sidewalks on one side of the street. In most cases, this is also the side of the street where a bus stop will be located.
  • Determine whether streetlights are available. To do this, it is best to walk the route at the same time of the morning as your child’s commute. Consider providing your child with a flashlight if necessary.
  • Discuss crossing safety. Are there marked crosswalks? Are some locations busier, while others provide a safer path to cross?
  • Children should always walk facing traffic, particularly if no sidewalks are available.
  • Beware of left turns. Vehicles turning left are most likely to strike a pedestrian.
  • Is the bus stop set back from the street? Always teach your child not to wait on the street or close to it. Several children in Southwest Florida have been struck and killed in recent years while sitting on the curb.
  • Walk in pairs. Is there a neighbor your child can walk with throughout the school year? Pairs and groups of children are easier to see and less prone to being approached by strangers.
  • No horseplay! Groups of children tend to play together, which comes with its own set of risks. Remaining orderly and focused on busy streets is the best way to stay safe.
  • Beware while boarding. Encourage your child to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and for the driver to motion them aboard. If crossing in front of the bus is required, it is important to wait for the driver’s signal. Most injuries involving the school bus occur while getting on or off the bus.

Traveling by bus is statistically the safest way to get to and from school. Our injury lawyers hope that talking with your students about preventable risks will help keep them out of harm’s way as the new school year begins.

If you or a loved one is hurt, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.

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