Students Face Dangers in Virginia’s School Zones
The return of kids to school in Virginia this week has put the safety of kids driving to school and around school buses firmly on the agenda again.
Although it’s light when kids go to school right now and return home, the mornings and nights are set to get darker in the next few weeks. Young pedestrians are at risk because they can stray into the road and they can be particularly vulnerable when they are getting on and off a school bus.
Each year as many as 17 school age children on average are killed in transportation safety related issues, states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Students are particularly vulnerable as the nights and mornings get darker in the fall. NHTSA statistics state the highest number of accidents involving children occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
I have reported on a number of school bus accidents in Virginia. Nevertheless, the school bus remains the safest type of transport for children and children are less likely to be injured on a school bus than if they are being driven to school by their parents.
The NHTSA has published a number of school bus safety tips intended to ensure kids are protected when using buses.
Kids should always exercise care around school buses. Transportation experts point out there is a “danger zone” around the school bus– 10 feet in front, 10 feet behind, and on each side of a school bus. As Virginia Beach children’s injury lawyers, we have seen a number of tragic accidents in which young people are hurt at bus stops.
According to the NHTSA, kids should take the following precautions around school buses:
- Stay five giant steps away from the road and wait until the driver has told them to approach the bus before getting on the bus.
- When climbing on the school bus students should quickly find their seat, and sit facing the front. They always do what the school driver tells them to do.
- When exiting the bus, kids need to look out for other vehicles. When they have left the bus they should take 5 giant steps away from the school bus.
- On leaving the bus, kids have to make sure to look left, right and left to make sure no vehicles are coming and wait for the driver to signal it’s safe to cross the road.
Safety tips can’t protect you in all situations but many accidents can be avoided when simple precautions are taken by kids. If you or a child has been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced Virginia Beach injury lawyer for a free consultation at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com.