On March 27th, a school bus and a truck were involved in a traffic accident on Highway 50 north of Delta, Colorado. Many of the children onboard were hurt, but the driver of the truck suffered more serious medical harm.
It’s an event that has touched every member of this small Colorado community. This event is an important reminder to all of us that our kids can never endure too many cautionary lectures, even if we worry they fall on deaf ears.
Knowing that accidents happen, we must stay consistent with our advice and make sure that these warnings are so ingrained that they are never forgotten. When we kiss our kids goodbye when they head off to school, we must have faith that we have taught them to heed all our warnings about staying safe in the face of danger. We trust that the other adults in their lives will do so, too.
Field trips and bus rides can be fun. Schools regularly review evacuation procedures but it never hurts to reemphasize the lessons with a quick talk to your child. Also, encouraging them to build good passenger habits early in their school career can offer lasting benefits that will follow them right up to high school. Here are a few items to review with your kids.
- Sit down in your seat at all times: It’s so tempting for rambunctious kids to want to climb, stand, and bounce on the bench seats, but it won’t help if the bus has to come to a sudden stop.
- Wait for the bus door to open before standing up: While most of the time the bus slows down gradually, if it lurches at the last second, your child can be injured by the rugged flooring or by tripping over one of the seat legs.
- Know how to open the emergency door in the back: It isn’t likely, but if they are in an accident where the driver is unable to help, they can’t get out the front of the bus, and damage to the bus is causing it to smoke, your child needs to know how to get out of the bus. If they don’t understand how the emergency exits work, talk to your school department to hold additional drills.
- Looking both ways before crossing the street, even if the red lights are flashing: Most drivers will stop for kids if a bus is close by, but it’s that one in a thousand that your child needs to look out for. Make them practice crossing the street with you until it becomes a habit.
Perhaps because children are continually reminded to take safety precautions, their parents were no doubt comforted in the knowledge that the children sustained only minor injuries in the Delta crash. Still, it is good to keep in mind that our safety systems are put in place to protect us all in the face of danger.
If your child is injured while riding on the school bus, don’t hesitate to speak to a personal injury attorney to protect your child’s rights and future welfare. Keeping our systems in place ensures that we are all protected.