During the winter months, when mornings and nights are darker, students face additional risks at the school bus stop and getting to it.

The number of students who use school buses is staggering. The National Safety Council states as many as 25 million students nationwide start and end their day with a trip on a school bus.

School buses are designed for safety. They are bright yellow and are equipped with flashing lights, giant mirrors, and high seat backs. It’s the law to stop behind a school bus when students are being loaded and unloaded. If it were not for school buses, an additional 17 million cars would drop off and pick up kids at schools every day.

Although school buses are regularly involved in accidents, serious injuries to students on a bus are rare. However, the roads around the school bus stop can be hazardous places.

Stay safe at the school bus stop

School Bus Stop Safety Tips

Students need to do their part to stay alert and be aware of their surroundings to prevent injury. The NSC urges parents to teach their children certain rules for getting on and off a school bus and to act in a certain way while they are riding the bus.

Here are five safety tips for the school bus and the bus stop.

1 Take Care Crossing the Road

In some cases, students may need to cross busy highways to reach a bus stop. Younger children can get excited, particularly if they are late and run across the road when the school bus arrives. Give yourself plenty of time and look both ways before crossing.

2 Get onto the Bus Safely

When you are waiting for the school bus, steer clear of traffic. Avoid horseplay at the bus stop. Line up as the bus approaches and avoid straying into side alleys and backstreets. You should form a line away from the street as the bus approaches. Board carefully and use the handrail.

3 Take Care On the Bus

If seat belts are available on a school bus, use them. Do not get out of your seat, or make loud noises that distract a bus driver. Keep aisles clear of books and bags and don’t put your head or arms out of the bus windows.

Gather your belongings before you get to your stop. Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before you get up from your seat.

4 Get Off the Bus Safely

When you dismount from the school bus, avoid traffic and don’t be distracted by bad behavior. Go straight to the school by the designated route. Don’t stray into alleys or onto private properties. Use the handrail when exiting.

5 Abide by the 10 Feet Rule

If you have to cross in front of the bus on arrival or exit, first walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver. Make sure the school bus driver sees you. When the driver signals, look left, right and left again. Walk across the road and look out for sudden traffic changes. Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times.

If you have been hurt in a car, truck, or bus wreck in Georgia call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.