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Is it safer for my child to travel to school by school bus or by car?

Is it safer for my child to go to school on the school bus or by car?

01/09/2017

As parents of school age children we can and should consider the question of road safety when taking them to school. Whether they walk to school, or go by school bus, regular bus, or by car, our children should make this journey in the safest way possible, observing road safety rules and avoiding any risky behaviour.

Our concern for the safety of our children might lead us to ask ourselves which is the safest option: transport by school bus or taking them to school ourselves by car? . The answer is not a simple one. Both options are safe, providing the road safety rules are duly observed and, in the particular case of a school bus, if we are dealing with a service that complies with all the obligatory requirements such as having child restraint systems installed or an attendant on board, if necessary.

In order to entrust our child's safety to the school transport system, we would need to be aware of the transport contract between the educational centre and the company providing the service. We can find out this information if we form part of the parents' association of our children's school, and we can then also ensure that minimum safety requirements are being complied with.

A bus is one of the safest forms of transport, and, statistically speaking, is safer than a car. If the vehicle has approved child restraint systems for school use, and has a qualified attendant ensuring the children's safety, helping children with disabilities, making sure all the children are in their seats and helping them with rucksacks and other belongings, and helping them on and off the bus safely, then we should have no cause for concern whatsoever.

Using our own car seems to all of us the closest and safest option. This is because it is something  we can guide and control ourselves, in which we are literally in the driving seat and for which we can take all the responsibility for observing the rules of the road safely.

Using our own car makes perfect sense if there is no school bus option, but it does have its disadvantages: increased traffic around the school area, traffic jams and frustrations, lack of places to park or to stop in, the stress of leaving the children in a bit of a rush and trying not to get to work late...

Furthermore, we need to consider the risks of a car as a form of transport, above all in terms of potential mistakes when adjusting the CRS, given that the incorrect placement of the CRS can have serious consequences in the event of a collision. Therefore, both forms of transport have their pros and cons.

All things being equal, their should be no difference in safety between school transport and our own car.


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