Cobb County students are scheduled to start back to school on Monday, which means local roadways will be much busier than in recent weeks. With an increased number of automobiles on Cobb County streets and highways, the number of crashes is likely to rise as well. We urge drivers to use extra caution during your morning and afternoon commute next week, as we all adjust to the increased traffic again.
Another potential hazard during the academic year is that of school bus accidents. Because buses are the main type of transportation for students, they will be abundant on local roads next week. Fortunately, school buses are one of the safest methods of transportation. Statistics from the NHTSA state that students are eight times safer when traveling in a school bus when compared to other forms of commute. The biggest school bus dangers are those outside the vehicle – as students are boarding or exiting buses.
To avoid tragic incidents in coming weeks as school buses become more plentiful on Georgia roadways, Jones & Swanson has provided a list of safety points to remember while driving:
- Never pass a school bus while it is stopped for students to get on or off – this will be identified by yellow and red lights flashing, as well as a stop sign that extends from the side of the bus. It is not hard to identify when a bus has children entering or exiting, so pay attention and abide by the law – do not pass.
- When children are boarding or exiting a school bus, you must stop your vehicle no matter what direction you’re traveling and regardless of your schedule. Children are not always looking for vehicles, as they expect them to stop as they navigate the bus. It is your responsibility to follow the rules of the road and stop any time a bus signals.
- Your vehicle should never come within 10 feet of a school bus – whether children are outside it or not. Leaving extra room prevents two-vehicle crashes from becoming three-or-more-vehicle crashes.
- Stay on the lookout for school zones and bus zones. These areas are likely to have pedestrians nearby. There’s a reason the speed limit is lowered in these areas, so follow that directive as well.
- If a school bus is attempting to merge into traffic, allow them to do so with plenty of space. These large vehicles are not easy to navigate and drivers have a lot of distractions – merging shouldn’t be one of them.
Jones & Swanson is hopeful that we can keep the coming weeks free of child injury – especially those involving school buses. For more information on roadway safety, contact our experienced injury lawyers at 770-427-5498 today.