Kevin Koile, Townsquare Media

With school getting ready to start in a few weeks, the director of Safe Kids Wyoming wants parents to know kids are much safer on a school bus than in a private vehicle.

Stephanie Heitsch says studies show kids are thirteen times safer on a bus compared to being driven to school by their parents. She says there are several reasons for the increased safety of buses.

One is simply that because they are much larger than cars, the can better withstand accidents, even severe head-on crashes. But she says it's also important to remember  school buses are specially designed for safety, including being  compartmentalized so that trauma to one part of the bus doesn't reach into other areas.

But Heitsch also says among kids on school buses, more are injured outside the bus before or after entering than in accidents while in the bus. In many cases the injuries are caused by inattentive motorists, so she says it's important that those driving near a school bus pay close attention and follow all traffic laws, such as stopping behind a bus that has it's red lights on and never passing a school bus on the right, which is illegal in Wyoming.

She says it's also important for motorists to allow ten feet between themselves and school busses to allow for kids in the bus area.