Parents trust school buses to carry their children safely to and from school. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers helpful reminders to drivers and parents about school bus safety.
Parents can help children stay safe at bus stops by reminding them never to cross behind a school bus, to wait until the bus stops completely to board and to use the handrails to prevent falls.
School buses are designed to be visible on the road with features like bright paint, flashing lights, mirrors and built-in stop signs. Drivers in Washington should watch for school buses when they back out of a driveway or a garage. They should also be mindful to slow down in school zones and watch for children in groups at bus stops.
Drivers are prohibited from passing a school bus while it is dropping off or picking up riders. The yellow flashing lights on a bus indicate that the bus is about to stop. Drivers should also be prepared to stop when they see these lights.
When the lights are flashing red and the stop sign arm is down, this indicates that the bus has stopped. Drivers must also stop and wait until the lights are turned off and the stop sign goes up to proceed.
School bus accidents
Despite these safety precautions, school bus accidents occur and may injure passengers, other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
These accidents can include relatively minor injuries like scrapes and bruises but may also cause broken bones, whiplash and traumatic injuries which can have a long-lasting impact. The medical costs required to recover from these accidents can be significant.
An attorney can evaluate the circumstances of the school bus accident and provide advice about next steps.