Nearly 25 million kids ride to school on a school bus every day. School buses are very safe for children—and in fact, are the safest mode of transportation according to the National Safety Council—but safety around school bus stops are still a concern and can pose risks for kids who are entering and exiting the bus each day.
When you are driving around school bus stops in your neighborhood on the way to work, you should pay special attention in the hours before school starts and after school ends. Despite a parent’s best efforts, a kid could potentially dart out into the street with no warning and create a dangerous situation for themselves and for the driver.
Here are some tips that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has for drivers to help keep kids (and drivers) safe during morning pickup and afternoon drop-off times.
LOOK BEFORE YOU BACK OUT OF YOUR DRIVEWAY
When you’re leaving for work in the morning, you should be careful to watch for kids who are walking or biking to the school bus stop when you’re backing out of your driveway or exiting the garage. Go extra slow when backing up and don’t just rely on your rear-view mirror to spot kids who may be walking or biking in your driveway.
BE ALERT WHILE YOU’RE ON THE ROAD
Kids are taught to look both ways before they cross the street, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t occasionally forget what they were taught and run out into the street when they’re not supposed to. It’s always important to be alert when you’re driving, but it’s especially crucial when you’re driving at the time kids are about to board the bus to school or are being dropped off in the afternoon.
LEARN THE SCHOOL BUS LAWS IN YOUR STATE
Every state has its own laws regarding how drivers are supposed to respond to a school bus approaching. (When a school bus stops and flashes its signals, all traffic in both directions must come to a complete stop, according to Georgia law.)
Drivers should always be prepared to slow down and stop when they see a school bus picking up or dropping off kids. If drivers ignore a school bus’s red flashing lights and an extended stop-arm signal (indicating kids are getting on or off the bus), then they could potentially receive a pretty hefty fine.
The safety of children entering or exiting a school bus is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, some drivers ignore the laws or are simply not paying attention, which can result in terrible accidents. If your child has been involved in an accident with a negligent driver in Georgia who was driving carelessly around school bus stops, you may be able to pursue litigation.
Call the Fry Law Team, personal injury attorneys, at (404) 948-3571 to learn more about what your rights are.