Students at increased risk of North Carolina school bus accidents as classes begin

Preventing North Carolina school bus accidents and bicycle and pedestrian accidents involving students will require everyone to remain alert this week as our children begin returning to classes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the nation’s school bus system has an excellent safety record — averaging just 19 fatalities per year. Yet thousands of students are injured each year in school bus accidents. The start of the school year brings increased risk as students, drivers and motorists once again grow accustomed to the rules of the road.
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Each year, more than 2,000 motorists are cited for illegally passing a school bus. Please remember that motorists must stop for a bus displaying red flashing lights and must wait until the lights are withdrawn and the stop sign is retracted before passing a school bus.

The state offers one of the country’s most comprehensive school bus safety sites at www.ncbussafety.org. Tips include:

-Use a backpack to prevent dropping things on the way to and from the bus or beneath the school bus.

-Wear bright contrasting colors.

-Allow plenty of time to reach the bus stop — running or hurrying can be dangerous.

-Walk young children to the bus stop and have older children walk in groups.

-Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible; stay off the street.

-Look left, right, left at intersections. Children should look left first and last because that is the direction of the closest oncoming traffic.

-Do not allow children to engage in pushing or other rough horseplay at the bus stop.

-Wait for the bus at least 10 feet away from the road.

-Never attempt to retrieve anything from under the bus.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a North Carolina school bus accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965. Serving North and South Carolina, including Charlotte, Morganton and Winston-Salem.

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