As children age, you might struggle with the notion of whether to let a pre-teen bike or ride with you or your teenager instead of taking the school bus. If you want to base the decision on safety, your child will experience a safer commute on the school bus.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), riding the school bus provides a ride that proves 13 times safer than if they rode in the family vehicle. Children are 70 times more likely to arrive at school alive if they ride the bus instead of riding with a friend or driving themselves.
That makes an important trade-off for those who feel torn between the possibility of bullying on a bus ride and driving their child to school themselves. While the news media regularly covers violence on school buses, in reference to commuter safety, your child fares better riding the school bus.
Improving Safety in School Commutes
Your child may ride on an old-fashioned school bus now, but recent modernizations to school buses may reach your area soon which will make the bus even safer. These modernizations include privatization of school buses systems, ride-sharing apps like Zum, and shoulder and lap seatbelts on buses.
Privatization of School Buses
Many school districts have privatized their bus system. The school no longer owns the buses nor handles hiring the drivers. By privatizing the service, they benefit from a new level of professionalism, modern bus designs, and improved route planning. This results in more direct routes for children and reduced commute time. That also increases their safety by reducing their time on the road.
The latest riding sharing apps cater to parents and children who need a more direct route for their child to reach school.
Capitalizing on the concept of the carpool, but using professional drivers, and in some cases, school buses, these rideshare options bring an affordable alternative to parents and school districts. It also erases the problem of children who didn’t qualify to ride the school bus or who didn’t have a route that passed by their home because they live within one mile of the school.
Safer Buses with Seat Belts
When most parents reading this attended school, school buses didn’t have seatbelts. Vehicle manufacturers have changed that practice in recent decades. Today’s buses use the same shoulder and lap belts that automobiles do. Schools mandate that children wear seatbelts on the buses, which translates to a safer bus ride.
The other benefit to seatbelt use on school buses has been a reduction in disciplinary issues. Once kids had to buckle into their seats, they began behaving better, shows a study conducted in Palmdale, CA.
Keeping Your Kids Safer
Although your teen may pressure you for a car or truck when they reach driving age, they should not drive it to and from school for safety’s safe. They’re more likely to become involved in an accident by driving themselves or even riding with their mom or dad.