According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association 1,541 people have died in school transportation related crashes since 1997. That averages out to about 140 people per year. Most of those are in other vehicles involved; however, on average 19 school age children die in those crashes each year.

Five of those deaths were children that were in the school bus vehicle and the other 14 were pedestrians. Read on to find out how you can prevent your child from being in a school bus accident.


1) Teach your child school bus safety. This includes knowing the school bus danger zone, which is ten feet wide on all sides of the bus. If you can't see the bus driver, he/she can't see you.

2) Educate your child to listen to the bus driver at all times. This may mean that your child needs to remain quiet while on the bus in order to hear the instructions.

3) Instruct children to never throw things on the bus as it can be very dangerous and someone might get hurt.

4) Teach children not to tamper with or play with the fire extinguisher or emergency exit.

5) Instruct your child to NEVER walk behind the bus. Children should always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them. Prior to walking in front of the bus, children should make eye contact with the bus driver and wait for their signal that it is ok to go.

6) It may seem like common sense, but remind children to look both ways before crossing the street to board the school bus. Even though cars are supposed to stop for the children and the bus, some do not.

7) Teach your child to ask the bus driver for help if they drop anything near the bus. Bending down to pick it up without talking to the bus driver is very unsafe and can cause an accident.

8) Educate your children to wait for the bus in a safe area; standing back from the curb, one that is away from the roadway where cars are driving.

Tips, Warnings

1) Supervise your child when they get on/off the bus, if possible.

2) Have children hold the hand rail when getting on/off the bus.

3) Don't run between parked cars and/or buses.

4) Don't jump up and down on the bus.

5) Don't fight or tease other passengers.

Dave Lindahl