Child Safety and NC School Bus Accidents

The adults driving those big yellow school buses are supposed to make sure your children are carefully transported to and from school everyday, but there are safety tips you can give your youngster too.

School buses in North Carolina are operated by the Local Education Agency. Typically, that means each county and city board of education is responsible for the policies that are associated with your child’s ride to and from school.
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Our Asheville personal injury lawyers know we all trust our area school bus drivers to act responsibly behind the wheel. And we trust our districts to ensure these buses safely transport our children to and from school each day. Unfortunately, that’s not always to case.

Fortunately, school buses are among the safest form of transportation. Buses must meet rigid federal construction standards for the top and the sides of the bus as well as the fuel tanks. They’re also equipped with thick, padded seats and the back of the seats provide a passive form of crash protection for young riders, also known as “compartmentalization.” The padding on the seats works with the placement of the seats, high above the impact zone with most other vehicles, to offer protection.

However, many accidents occur while a student is boarding or deboarding a bus. And the risk of neighborhood bicycle and pedestrian accidents also increases as the school year gets under way.

To help to keep kids safe while waiting for the bus, while riding the bus and while getting off the bus, NC Bus Safety offers additional tips and safety information.

Getting to the Bus Stop:

-Always walk on the side of the road. Do not run.

-If there’s no sidewalk available, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.

-Never play around when waiting for the bus.

-Wait in a safe spot away from traffic.

-Arrive at least 5 minutes before your bus is scheduled to arrive.

Getting On and Off the Bus:

-Allow younger students to get on first.

-Make a single-file line.

-Always use the handrail.

-Go directly to your seat once aboard.

-Keep your feet, arms and backpack out of the aisle.

-Stay seated for the entire ride.

-Never yell or scream.

Riding the Bus:

-Never throw things.

-Stay away from the window.

-Keep your feet directly in front of you.

-Keep your hands on your lap.

-Stop talking when approaching a railroad track.

-Keep aisles clear.

-Never block emergency exits.

Getting Off the Bus:

-Keep drawstrings and other loose objects secure.

-Immediately leave the bus’ “Danger Zone,” which is the 10 foot area surrounding the bus.

-If you drop something near the bus, do NOT get it. Tell the bus driver first!

-If you forgot something on the bus, do NOT go back on to get it.

-If you have to cross the street, always do so in front of the bus.

-Never talk to strangers near the bus stop.

If you or your child has been involved in an accident, contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.

More Blog Entries:

Officials Focusing on Safe Drivers to Help Prevent Child Injury in North Carolina this School Year, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 24, 2011

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