Did you know that around 25 million children in the United States ride on school buses? Did you also know that 173 children died between 2003 and 2012 as the result of a school bus crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration? Children are our most precious treasures, so it makes sense to learn ways to avoid a collision with a school bus.

Despite the fact that it is much safer for children to ride to and from school in a school bus than in the family car, motorists still need to use caution to avoid accidents and possible injuries. Use these three easy ways to help avoid a collision with a school bus, and help keep our streets safer for our children.

Learn the Laws Regarding School Buses

Watch out for the flashing red signal lights and the stop sign arm that swings out from a school bus. In California, this indicates that cars should stop, no matter what direction they are coming from, because the bus is either unloading or loading children. You cannot proceed until the flashing lights are turned off, and the stop sign arm is withdrawn.

However, under the California Vehicle Codes, this does not apply to drivers who are traveling on a multi-lane highway or the other side of a divided highway. When a roadway has two or more lanes in both directions, it means that the drivers traveling in the same direction of the bus have to stop. Some buses are also equipped with yellow lights that flash. These are warning lights that the bus is preparing to stop and gives drivers an opportunity to slow down before having to stop.

Use Extra Caution When Driving Near a School Bus

School bus drivers sit up high and don’t always have a clear view of other drivers, despite having cross-view mirrors on the bus. Following too closely, making a sudden stop in front of a school bus or pacing a bus on the side can be dangerous for the children riding inside. The safest thing to do is to give a school bus ample room and to watch closely for warning lights to start flashing.

Be Aware of Speed Limits Near Schools

All drivers are familiar with lowered speed limits near schools, and while some drivers may be annoyed at having to slow down, it is a safety precaution for children who are walking and school buses that are pulling into or out of the driveway. Note the flashing light near schools that indicates that children are being dropped off or picked up, and maintain the school zone speed until you see the sign telling the driver that it is safe to resume normal speed.

Call David Azizi If a School Bus Accident Happens

Nothing is more traumatic than receiving a phone call that your child was injured in an accident. David Azizi, a California school bus accident lawyer, has children of his own and sympathizes with the anguish a parent would feel. He has worked with parents to make sure legal issues are properly adhered to. If your child has been injured due to negligence on the part of another driver or the driver of a school bus, let David handle the insurance company and legal details while you attend to what is most important – your family. Medical bills and other expenses can drain a family’s finances. Let David recover financial damages that can help you and your family move forward. Contact him at 800-991-5292.