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With schools now in session in parts of North Central West Virginia, and the rest of them starting on Monday, the attorneys and staff thought it important to remind parents about some things to help keep their kids safer when going to school and while at school. For our third installment on school safety, we are examining safety tips for motorists around school buses.
School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation on the road today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a bus to school is 10 times safer than walking to school and 13 times safer than riding in a passenger vehicle. In reality, more children are seriously injured on the outside than they are on the inside of a school bus. Most children who lose their lives as a result of bus-related crashes are between four and seven years old and are hit by the bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus. Because of this, it is crucial to know and understand how to safely share the road with school buses. Here are some things to remember for drivers:
· When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school. Better yet, walk around your car or out to the sidewalk to check for any children walking in your path before you get in.
· Drive slowly and watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks. Also be aware of children playing or waiting around bus stops.
· Be alert and aware on the road. While children are typically taught about looking both ways, they could dart into the street without looking if they are late or distracted.
· All 50 states require that traffic in both directions stop on undivided roadways when children are entering or exiting the bus.
· Yellow flashing lights alert drivers that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children.
· Red flashing lights alert drivers that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus.
· Never pass a school bus on the right. It is illegal and could have tragic consequences.
As children go back to school, the attorneys and staff at the Manchin Injury Law Group wish all students and teachers a safe and productive year!