Why are school buses yellow?

School buses are typically painted bright yellow for safety reasons. The use of yellow color for school buses has been found to enhance visibility and increase safety for children while they are getting on or off the bus and while the bus is in transit. Here’s why yellow is chosen:

Visibility: Yellow is a highly visible color, especially in various lighting conditions. It stands out well against other colors and backgrounds, making it easier for drivers to spot a school bus from a distance.

Attention-Grabbing: The bright yellow color quickly draws attention, which is crucial when it comes to ensuring that drivers are aware of the presence of a school bus, especially when children are entering or exiting the bus.

Daylight and Low-Light Conditions: Yellow is effective both during daylight hours and under low-light conditions such as dawn or dusk. This versatility in visibility is important because school buses often operate during various times of the day.

Psychological Impact: Yellow is associated with caution and alertness, which reinforces the need for drivers to be cautious when encountering a school bus.

Standardization: The use of a consistent, easily recognizable color helps establish a standardized and recognizable appearance for school buses across different regions and jurisdictions.

The specific shade of yellow used for school buses is typically standardized by regulations set by transportation authorities. In the United States, for instance, the shade of yellow used for school buses is often referred to as “National School Bus Glossy Yellow.” These standards help ensure uniformity in appearance and visibility for school buses nationwide.

Overall, the choice of bright yellow color for school buses is a deliberate safety measure to make them more visible to drivers and pedestrians, reducing the risks associated with transporting children to and from school.

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