Injury Prevention

School Bus Safety

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, school buses are one of the safest forms of transportation. But there are still dangers, particularly before and after riding the bus.

It is important to remind children about safety on the street and on the school bus. Elementary school children in particular are at high risk of being hit by a car when crossing the street because they:

  • Cannot judge the speed or distance of moving vehicles
  • Are easily distracted and can focus only on one thing at a time
  • Cannot determine the direction of sounds
  • Have a visual field that is one-third narrower than an adult’s
  • Do not understand how much time and distance is necessary for a vehicle to stop
  • Are hidden by parked cars and bushes
  • Making matters worse, there is an increase in the number of pre-school children being sent to school programs on school buses.

Click here for our School Bus Safety Quiz.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that each pre-school child be properly secured in the appropriate safety seat depending on the child’s weight, height, or special needs. See Kids in Cars for additional details.

The 10-foot area around a school bus should be thought of as the Danger Zone because it is difficult for a bus driver to see in this area. The most dangerous sections in the Danger Zone are right in front of the bus and from the front of the rear wheels to the back of the bus.

Safety Tips

Here are some guidelines to give children to prevent injuries on the school bus.

Waiting for the Bus

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes early.
  • Stay away from the curb.
  • Pay attention for the bus as it approaches the bus stop.
  • Let the bus come to a complete stop before boarding.
  • Don’t push or crowd friends getting on or off the bus.
Riding the Bus
  • Find a seat, sit down and face foward.
  • Listen to the bus driver and follow his or her directions.
  • Keep the aisles clear.
  • Don’t stick anything out the windows—especially your head or arm.
  • Don’t throw anything in the bus or out of a bus window.
  • Don’t scream or shout.
Exiting the Bus
  • Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps don’t get caught in the doors or handrails.
  • Always cross the street in front of the bus while it is stopped. Never cross behind it.
  • Keep away from the bus if you drop something. Never try to pick it up without telling the bus driver that you are going to get it.
  • Do not go into the Danger Zone.
  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
Other Tips
  • In winter, dress for the weather in bright colored clothing so you are easily seen. But make sure you can see and hear traffic around you.
  • In winter and on rainy days, give the bus more room. They need more room to stop when the road is slippery.

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Last Update
May 23, 2008
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Last Update
May 23, 2008
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