Bus Stop Safety: Kids At Risk For Traffic Crashes

While school buses are among the safest methods of transportation for children, there is a  greater risk of injury at bus stops as children get on or off the bus. Oftentimes, negligent  drivers are responsible for accidents that take place at bus stops across the country. Children,  parents, and other drivers need to be aware of the risks present at bus stops. 

What is the Danger Zone? 

At bus stops, there is an area known as the Danger Zone, which consists of a 10-foot-wide  space on all sides of school buses. This is where accidents are more likely to cause child pedestrian injuries. Children should stay at least 10 feet away from the bus at a stop to remain  out of the Danger Zone, and should never walk behind the bus.  

Parents should let children know that other drivers may not stop for a school bus and that it’s  always important to look both ways before crossing the street. Other potential dangers that  children should look out for include strangers at the bus stop behaving suspiciously or  offering a ride, gang activity in certain areas, bullying, weapons, or unusual packages sitting  at the bus stop. 

The Risks of Distracted and Negligent Driving 

Distracted driving incidents are more commonplace every year with the increased use of cell  phones, texting, and performing other tasks behind the wheel. Distracted driving often leads 

to serious accidents involving schoolchildren and other pedestrians. Drivers must avoid  distractions at all times. 

Distracted driving is considered a form of negligence, which could lead to serious legal  repercussions in the event of an accident. 

Types of Pedestrian Accidents Involving Children at Bus  Stops 

When drivers practice negligence on the road, they put schoolchildren and other pedestrians  at risk. In addition to distracted driving, types of pedestrian accidents that have injured  children include: 

Backover Accidents 

Drivers backing out of a driveway or parking space may not see children in the path of their  vehicle if mirrors are improperly set, or if they’re distracted. Oftentimes, backover accidents  involve relatives, neighbors, or family friends that the child knows. 

Drunk Driving Accidents 

Many accidents, including those that take place at bus stops, involve drivers who had been  drinking with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, exceeding the legal  limit. 

Accidents in School Zones 

When school buses are unloading or loading students at the school immediately before and  after school hours, children may be at risk of accidents in school zones. Drivers may fail to  follow speed limit postings, or they may not watch for crossing guards and schoolchildren. 

Accidents Taking Place in the Afternoon and Evening 

Children may be vulnerable to accidents in the afternoon or evening between noon and 6:00  PM. Older and younger children could be equally at risk, as children in junior high or high  school often walk home from extracurricular activities during this time. 

With the risks present at bus stops, parents should educate their children about potential  dangers and drivers should practice extreme caution in these areas.