School Bus Safety the Focus in Southwest Florida

We’re continuing the focus on back-to-school safety as kids head back to school and colleges return to class.

Whether they’re driving themselves or they’re taking the school bus, the month schools returns to session brings with it significant risks. And this is why officials with the National Safety Council (NSC) have partnered with First Student, the largest provider of student transportation services in North America, to share important safety information.

Millions of students will head back to school this fall, which is why now is a good time for parents and children to talk about school (and travel) safety.

Our Fort Myers accident lawyers understand that there have been more than 1,400 school transportation-related accidents since 1998. In these accidents, more than 1,560 people were killed. That’s an average of 142 fatalities a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But we’re not just worried about those taking the bus. We’re also worried about those old enough to drive themselves to school. During this time of the year, teens face some serious risks for drowsy driving accidents. With their early wake-up times, they’re facing higher risks for an accident, too. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) 11 to 17-year-olds need at least eight and a half hours of sleep nightly. Unfortunately nearly two-thirds of high school students get less than seven hours.

But there are things that we can do as parents and caregivers to help to make sure our children’s commute to school is as safe as possible.

Riding The School Bus:

-Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before stepping on the road to approach it.

-Board the bus in a single file line. Everyone’s going to get to the same place at the same time. There’s no need to rush.

-Once inside the bus, students should immediately find a seat and stay sitting, facing forward. Since there are no seat belts on school buses, it’s important that they stay still and remain.

-Keep an “inside voice” while riding the bus. Avoid yelling or any other actions that could distract the driver.

-Keep all belongings out of the aisle. You don’t want to obstruct the view of the driver in any way.

-Sit with your feet in front of your seat. Do not sit with your feet in the aisle. You could accidentally make someone fall.

-Keep your hands and feel inside the windows of the school bus.

Driving To School (Teens):

-Make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep each and every night. Driving (and the classroom work) demands 100 percent of your attention.

-Leave for school with plenty of time to spare. You don’t want to have to rush to make it there before the bell.

-Make sure you keep distractions out of the driver’s seat. This is no time to catch up on studies or text friends about weekend plans. It can wait.

-Eat breakfast before departing. While you may want to stop at the drive-thru before class, wait until you make it to campus before digging in.

-If you’re taking friends to and from class, make sure that they understand the risks associated with driving and they don’t distract you.

-Always wear a seat belt. This is your number one defense against injury (and even death) in the event of an accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Keeping Children Safe on their Walk to School, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 21, 2013
Car Accidents on the Decline Nationwide, According to NSC, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 20, 2013

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