Back to School…Finally!
It is time to sharpen your pencils and remind yourselves and your kids of these Back to School safety tips! The pandemic has changed the way children have been going to school and riding the school bus was unheard of during the 2020-2021 school year. With schools re-opening and families eager to get back to a more normal school day, it is important to revisit safety concerns and reinforce safety rules with children who will be riding the bus to school.
Did you know that nearly two-thirds of school bus-related fatalities of school-age children occur outside of the school bus? Chicago based Law Firm, McNabola Law Group would like to share the following safety tips for parents and students to practice as school begins and throughout the year to ensure a safe trip to and from school for everyone.
Arrive early! Arrive five minutes before the scheduled departure. Running after a departing bus is a recipe for disaster.
1. Stand away from the curb: While you are waiting for the bus, stay six feet away from moving traffic on the sidewalk or open area. Standing on the curb is not safe.
2. Supervise all children: Leaving a child unattended is dangerous. For your child’s safety, it is extremely important to have adult supervision while waiting for the school bus. Children are prone to distraction and poor impulse control. Adult supervision is a must!
3. Always use the crosswalk: jaywalking is illegal and extremely dangerous. Only walk in crosswalks where drivers will be expecting to see pedestrians. And, even when you are in the crosswalk, be aware of the traffic around you — keep your head on a swivel!
4. ALWAYS cross the street in front of the bus and ALWAYS make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street. NEVER walk behind the bus.
5. Be careful if you drop something! If you drop something near the bus, make sure the bus driver is aware before you reach under the bus to retrieve your dropped item.
6. Do not approach a moving bus: Ensure that traffic has stopped, the bus has completely stopped, and the doors on the bus have been opened before moving toward the bus.
7. Always use the handrail when you are boarding or leaving the bus: This will help avoid slips or falls, especially in wet weather.
8. Secure any loose items on your body before you move to get on or get off the bus. Prevent back-pack straps, shoelaces, and clothing, from getting caught on bus doors, handles, or seats. Make sure the straps on a backpack or the ties on a hoodie or sweatpants are secure so you don’t get caught!
9. Buckle up: Use seat belts available on the bus. For more information about seatbelts on school buses in Illinois,here is what you need to know.
10. Stay in your seat while the bus is moving: Walking through a moving bus is extremely dangerous for all passengers, and can be a dangerous distraction for the bus driver, and can encourage rowdy and dangerous behavior by other students. It is important to remind students to keep arms, legs, papers, and other belongings within the seat and to always stay seated while the bus is moving. It is also a safety hazard to block isles with books or bags, so keep your backpacks on your lap!
11. Be respectful of others: With 25 million students nationwide riding the school bus, it is essential for everyone to be respectful of one another’s space and belongings. Keep your hands within your own space, wear a mask, speak quietly, and never shout unless in an emergency.
Everyone at McNabola Law Group hopes that by providing these important safety tips, fatal bus accidents can be prevented this upcoming school year. Mark McNabola fought for the family of a young girl who was tragically killed when she was struck by a vehicle that had collided with a bus. After a ten-day jury trial, a Cook County jury returned a verdict in favor of the family. According to the Jury Verdict Reporter, this is a record high verdict for the wrongful death of a minor in a motor vehicle incident. No matter the result, it is never enough for the unthinkable loss of the minor’s life.
Stay safe and have fun in class, students!