Staying Safe on the Bus
Public transportation has grown increasingly popular as people look to avoid high gas prices, as well as help protect the environment by adding fewer vehicular emissions. City buses are also important transportation options for college students, people without cars, and those who do not want to deal with parking. Lastly, schoolchildren rely on buses to get them safely to and from school. To help keep all bus travelers safe, here are some tips for responsible bus riding.
First, when you are looking to catch a bus, most drivers do not stop unless you are standing up at the bus stop. However, if you have a disability that prevents you from standing, you can wave your arms or a brightly colored item to get the driver’s attention. Do not try to run after a moving bus, and avoid standing too close to the curb. You may fall and get run over.
Once you are on the bus, take a look at your seating options. If you are disabled or elderly, the front part of the bus should have special seating options for you. Bus drivers can help buckle a person in a wheel chair into the bus so that the chair does not roll with the motion of the bus. A bus should have signs posted notifying other passengers that an area of the bus should be vacated for the disabled or elderly.
If you are sitting, notice where the exit windows are. In case of an accident, you may be in charge of opening the exit window if you are sitting on the row where it is located. If you do not want this responsibility, try sitting somewhere else. Should you have to stand, be sure that there is something that you can hold on to. Buses often offer poles, hand straps, or handles on the backs of seats for you to grasp.
Also, try standing like a surfer, with one foot towards the front of the bus and one towards the back. This way, if the driver is accelerating, you can push your weight forward to counteract the feeling that you are being flung backwards. Vice versa, if the driver is quickly braking, you can lean back slightly. Avoid holding items in both of your hands so that you can catch yourself if you lose your balance.
It is also a good idea to pay attention to what is happening around you. This way, you can see if a driver is going to need to quickly brake and possibly protect your face if necessary. Also, be aware of suspicious packages and other devices if they are left behind on the bus. You can inform your driver of this item if you feel like it could be dangerous.
Sadly, as cautious as you may be, accidents on buses and other forms of public transportation can still occur. A reckless bus driver can fling passengers around inside of the bus, resulting in bumps, bruises, and possible broken bones and head trauma.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bus accident due to the negligence of someone else, you should speak to a lawyer about your options.