Sending Your Child to School: School Bus Safety Tips
The following is a guest post by Albany accident lawyer Paul Giannetti.
When parents send their children to school, they’re placing a lot of trust in many people: the teachers, school nurses, principals, and school bus drivers. Roughly 25 million children travel in school buses every day, and although most of these trips occur without incident, accidents do still happen.
In most of these, a school bus’ size and lower speed often protect it from severe damage, but child fatalities both on and around the bus are still a factor in many towns and cities the world over. While most accidents aren’t easily avoided, there are a few steps parents can take to help ensure the safety of their children when they cannot be present.
First off, take the time to get to know your child’s teachers, the nurse, and yes, the school bus driver. Having contacts within the school can serve to alert you sooner if there is an emergency. If there is a school bus monitor, often a parent volunteer who rides the bus and helps with any issues on board, make sure that person knows who you are and has your contact information.
When it comes to your daily routine, dress your child in bright jackets or otherwise noticeable clothing items, so that any driver would be able to see him or her even as they exit the bus. Make sure your child has enough time to get to the bus stop, as running to meet it could lead to a fall. On the same hand, make sure your child’s backpack is secure, as a child bending down to pick up dropped books may not always be visible to drivers, school bus or otherwise.
If possible, walk your child or children to the bus stop, and remain with them until they’re safely on their way. If you cannot be present, ask an older sibling or some of their friends to walk with them. A group of children is always more obvious to drivers than one.
Be sure to remind your children of the importance of general vehicle safety. In the case of school buses, they should stay seated, not distract the driver, and avoid roughhousing on or around the bus. Children do not always know a dangerous situation when they see it, and may not otherwise be aware of the potential for accidents.
Various transportation authorities and volunteer groups are working each year to improve school bus safety, with efforts including higher seat backs and the inclusion of seat belts as a requirement. About 17,000 children are injured every year in accidents related to school buses.
If your child has sustained injuries from a school bus accident, you’ll want to find a reliable and sympathetic lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney will help fight for your child’s rights and compensation for medical care, emotional stress, and other hardships related to the incident.
The Law Offices of Paul Giannetti is an Albany-based personal injury firm. Paul Giannetti has over 18 years experience as an Albany Injury Lawyer. He personally handles every single case that comes across his desk. Call (518) 243-8011 for a free consultation.