Many students take the bus to school twice a day, five days a week. Approximately 26 million elementary and secondary school children ride school buses daily in the United States, and the U.S. Department of Transportation says more than 50 percent of all K-12 students in the country ride yellow school buses, traveling approximately 4 billion miles each year.

The vast majority of these miles are traveled without incident. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, the national school bus accident rate is 0.01 per 100 miles traveled, compared to 0.96 for other passenger vehicles, which makes school buses considerably safer than other passenger vehicles.

Though school buses are safe, there are other ways to make them even safer. Children, especially those new to school buses, may find the bus fun and unique and not pay attention to simple safety rules. But parents should take steps to ensure that youngsters always heed the following school bus safety guidelines.

  • Wait for the bus in a safe location that is away from traffic, ideally staying in a designated school bus stop until the bus arrives.
  • Dress for optimal visibility, especially in inclement weather when it can be difficult for the school bus driver and other motorists to see pedestrians.
  • Do not board the bus until it comes to a complete stop. Wait for the driver to open the door, which engages the “Stop” sign for oncoming motorists.
  • Use the handrail and enter the bus in an orderly manner.
  • Promptly find a seat, sit down and buckle the safety belt if there is one available. Students assigned seats on the bus should take their seat without making a fuss.
  • Keep backpacks and other belongings out of the center aisle. Store them under your seat or on your lap.
  • Remain seated at all times while the bus is in motion.
  • Keep arms, hands, legs, and heads inside of the bus at all times.
  • Always follow the driver’s instructions and avoid situations that will cause driver distraction.
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before standing up or attempting to exit.
  • Exit the bus in an orderly manner, without pushing fellow passengers.
  • Only cross the street in front of the bus. It is very difficult for the driver to see students crossing behind the bus.
  • Wait for the driver to check traffic before crossing the street and be on the lookout for inattentive motorists.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: