If you are like most drivers, you probably can count the exact number of school bus stops between your home and your office because it seems no matter what time you leave in the morning, you end up behind an Orlando preparatory school bus that stops every two blocks to pick up passengers. Rather than grousing and “pushing” the bus by driving closely behind it, think of the following safety tips for traveling to school:

  • Bus Travelers. Children waiting at the bus stop should be supervised if they are very young or riding the bus for the first time this year. Teach your children to stay on the sidewalk or grass, away from the street, and not to attract undue attention while waiting on the bus. They should understand that their actions could detract from drivers’ road focus. While on the bus, treat the driver and other passengers with respect and dignity. Do not yell or move out of your seat. Pay attention to the bus driver when he or she speaks, and, most importantly, remember the bus driver’s name and bus number for the journey home.

  • Daily Carpoolers. For those students carpooling to school, follow the same lessons in courtesy as when riding a bus, with the addition of fastening your seat belt before the car begins moving. Parents must limit the amount of passengers to the number of seats allocated in their vehicles, drive cautiously, follow all traffic laws, and pay strict attention to your school’s policy on dropping off and picking up students. Know how precious the lives are being transported, and adjust driving habits accordingly. If parents have rules for their vehicles–don’t open the windows, no snacks, keep your hands to yourself–ensure these rules are known from the first day.

  • Walkers and Bikers. Students who walk or ride their bicycles to school need to have an adult walk them to school for the first few days or weeks until they are absolutely certain their child knows the way. Teach pedestrian safety, and make sure your children wear safety helmets while biking. Walkers must learn to only cross at crosswalks, and to use sidewalks whenever possible. As a health concern, help your child unload anything unnecessary from his or her backpack for the walk or ride to school. Excess weight in a backpack causes neck and back strain.

Give your children the best advantage possible as they return to school. Teach them safety rules to ensure not only their own well-being, but that of other passengers and drivers. For more school safety tips, browse through our blogs. We would be interested in reading your back-to-school safety tips as well. How are your children transported to their Orlando preparatory school? Do you have any advice for other readers?