Following the rules to help avoid school bus accidents

Parents in Louisiana will be putting their children on school busses soon, but they may be concerned about just how safe a school bus is and whether they need to worry about school bus accidents. It is normal for a Lake Charles parent to worry, but the American School Bus Council has said that school busses are meant to be safer for children than if they were to be driven to school by their parents every day. Granted, it is possible that a Louisiana driver could cause a school bus accident if he or she doesn’t follow the rules of the road.

One of the most important rules that Louisiana drivers must follow is to stop when a bus has stopped, is flashing red lights and has its retractable arm extended. Trying to pass or drive around a school bus when it is stopped is not only illegal, but it could also cause a serious accident in which the bus driver or any of the children on the bus could be injured. If a bus is only flashing yellow lights, a driver does not need to stop, but he or she must drive slowly around the bust because it is possible there will be children running to catch the soon-to-stop bus.

Most busses are required to stop at railroad tracks, something that may catch inattentive drivers off guard. If a driver either doesn’t know that a bus is going to stop at upcoming tracks or isn’t paying enough attention to the bus in front of him or her, he or she could smash into the back of a bus as it approaches the railway tracks.

Finally, for the safety of Louisiana drivers, it is important to remember that school busses don’t have as tight of a turning radius as cars do. This means that if a driver is too close to a bus as it is turning, it could potentially be hit by the tail end of the bus as it rounds a corner.

Protecting children and school bus passengers is partially the responsibility of drivers who share the road with the busses. Following the rules of the road is one of the best ways to avoid these types of accidents.

Source: Your Pasadena News, “Safely share the road with school buses,” David Silvey, Aug. 21, 2012

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