What are the School Bus “Danger Zones”?
While traveling by school bus is still the safest method of getting to and from school, there can still be risks – such as in the Danger Zones..
The Danger Zones are the areas anywhere outside of the bus where children are in the most danger of being hit, either by another vehicle or their own bus. The danger zones extend as much as 30 feet from the front bumper, 10 feet from the left and right sides of the bus and 12 feet behind the rear bumper of the school bus. In addition, the area to the left of the bus is always considered dangerous because of passing vehicles. The figure below illustrates these danger zones:
Some helpful tips to remind children when they travel to and from school on the school bus are:
- If your student misses the bus at their regular stop, do not follow the bus to the next stop and let your child walk/run beside the bus to get on. The driver cannot see the student in the danger zone, especially if it is dark and could possibly hit them as they pull away from the stop. Take your student to school.
- Make children stay at least 10 feet away from the bus until they begin to enter. Children will be able to see the driver and the driver can see them.
- If children must cross the street to the bus they should cross the street 10 feet (five giant steps) in front of the bus where they can see the driver and the driver can see them.
- Warn the children that, if they drop something, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions. If they bend over to pick up a dropped object, they might not be seen by the driver and could be hurt if the driver pulls away from the stop.
- Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus. Car drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by the bus on the right hand side.
- Teach your child to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are exiting.
- If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they may dash across the street and forget the safety rules.