The time has come and some of us are grieving, rejoicing, and dreading the start of the school routine! The iconic yellow school bus provokes different reactions in a variety of people. One negative reaction that a school bus can provoke, is road rage! Understanding the special design and role of the school bus can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and frustration when one must wait behind the blinking stop sign.
According to the American School Bus Council, each school bus is the equivalent to using 36 cars for transportation! By letting your children ride the school bus, the nation saves an annual $2.3 Billion gallons of fuel which is the equivalent of $6 Billion dollars! This can be broken down to an annual savings of approximately $421 per car. Who would have imagined that this value in fuel and funds could be saved by encouraging children to take the bus?
Martin Downs provides a thorough explanation of how a school bus is built uniquely for its purpose. The school bus has reinforced sides, several emergency exits, compartmentalized seats, extra cushions in front and in back of passengers, and often, no seat belts! The bus is designed to lessen the force of an impact without rolling or flipping. The bus is also equipped with a wide variety of flashing lights, the infamous blinking stop sign, and the safety bar guiding passengers a safe distance in front of the bus. In addition to the safe lights and gadgets, bus drivers undergo extensive training and background checks before they are authorized to operate such a large vehicle and transport such precious cargo. Although these yellow giants might seem to be a nuisance with their lights and signs, these are all protective measures to make sure that the passengers are safely delivered to and from their destination in the safest possible way.
Safest Method of School Transit
According to national statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), your child is 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely by riding the bus. The average number of children killed while riding in a school bus (during average school travel hours) is only 5 per year (or 1%) as compared to the national average of 58% who travel with other teen drivers and 23% killed while driven by adult drivers. Although accidents happen to the very best of us, the experienced drivers and bus construction provides the very safest method of transportation to and from school!
Although each city and town has unique circumstances that might cause some parents to avoid the bus system, it truly is a price savvy, environmentally friendly, and statistically safe option for your children! Waiting behind the bus might be frustrating when you are late to work or trying to get to an appointment on time, but please remember that these vehicles carry precious children and your cooperation helps to ensure their safety!
“Individual, Local and Global Community Impact.” School Bus Facts. American School Bus Council. Web. 27 Aug. 2015. <http://www.schoolbusfacts.com/community-impact>.
Downs, Martin. “Child School Bus Safety – Seat Belts, Bus Stops, and More.” WebMD. WebMD LLC, 2006. Web. 31 Aug. 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/child-safety-school-bus-still-best>.
Learn the Facts: Play it Safe. NHTSA and American School Bus Council, 2009. Print.