How Safe is the School Bus

When you are driving your kids to school you can observe how your kids behave, do they get into the car properly and immediately sit down? Do they then buckle up and remain in their seats for the whole journey? You can answer these questions as you are driving and in charge.

But when your children leave the house to get the school bus to school then you have no idea if they have arrived safely, or if they boarded the bus, and how they behave if they got on the vehicle.

Certain companies such as School Travel Manager have systems that protect your most valuable assets. They are effective monitoring and tracking systems for school transportation.

But if your school does not employ such as system just how safe is your child getting the bus to school.

School Bus Accidents

Like any form of transport, school buses are not immune to accidents. Every country has a list of accidents concerning children on buses on the way to or from school.

Sometimes it is the actual vehicle that has been in a collision, or it is an accident getting on or off the bus, or actually on the bus when it is transit. More than 40% of school bus injuries are caused by vehicular accidents, the other 60% by other means.

Safety Around the Bus

Twenty four percent of child injuries occur when the kids are alighting or disembarking the bus. Most fatalities in such accidents are amongst five to seven year old children. They are hit in the danger zone which encircles the vehicle.

This danger zone is ten foot all around the bus, the unfortunate children are either struck by the bus itself or by a passing vehicle. For some inexplicable reason most children are killed in the afternoon and not as would be expected in the morning.

Some bus companies have introduced a mechanical device that children have to stay behind keeping them well away from the bus. Another safety feature has been cameras that record motorists who fail to stop for a bus.

As a parent you should wait to see your child has boarded the bus without problems, and you must impart safety instructions for their behaviour to keep them safe. These should include information such as never walking behind the vehicle and to keep ten feet away until the bus stops, and always be in the driver’s vision.

Safety on the Bus

Many school buses now have seating that is designed to protect the children in case of an accident. These new seats are wider, thicker and higher and all have extra padding especially around exposed metal. Like airline seats these new bus seats are designed to move forward when a child is thrown against it.

It is difficult to ensure that the children are using their seat belts when the driver is busy, and many accidents are caused by kids moving about the vehicle when it is in transit. Parents must instill in their children the need to buckle up.

Another aspect to seat belts is that they must be properly maintained and adjusted to fit children. The owner of the vehicle is responsible to keep the seat belts in good order and in full working order.

Again the School Travel Manager’s system has an inbuilt maintenance and service log reminder to ensure this is done on a regular basis.

Remember your child’s journey to and from school is very much your responsibility, even if they are taking a school bus are you sure that they know all the safety rules so they are safe and have a hassle free journey.