Did you know that the symbolic yellow colors on the school bus have an interesting origin? Yes, there is a valid reason why the buses are yellow ̵1; to protect children when they go to and from school.
When yellow buses became popular
In 1939, North America gave the idea of creating "National School" Bus Chrome. “The idea was that it was a color that would attract attention and one of the most noticeable nuances you can discover in your peripheral vision. School Bus Yellow, the abbreviated term used to describe the color of school buses, is the chosen color created in the United States.
Also in 1939 a professor named Dr. Frank W. Cyr, from New York's Columbia University, up with the standards for school buses. He helped determine how big they should be, what color they should be, among other safety factors. This decision came at a conference where 44 total standards were set for what school buses would look like.
Not only did the yellow coloring make the buses extremely visible, but it also made the black letters that show the name of the school and the bus number easy to read even in the dark. Children must be able to see that they are on the right bus. The National Institute of Standards and Technology made school bus yellow a federal standard color, under No. 595a, color 13432.
Your Eyes and the Color Yellow
Science shows that the receptors in the human eye allow you to see certain colors better than others, and some better during the day and others better at night. During the day, green is the easiest to see, followed by yellow. These colors are also the easiest to see from a distance. When it is darker yellow is the easiest color to see, no matter how far away a yellow object is.
What is it with school buses in other countries?
Many places around the world have followed suit with the United States, seeing yellow as a safe and noticeable color for school buses. Japan, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Russia, Cuba and recently Kenya all use yellow buses to transport children to and from school. The yellow colors for these other buses may not always be the usual school bus yellows, but they still stand out. However, German school buses are similar to more city buses and are not yellow.
The size of the buses seems to be the most different. Some countries have smaller buses that end up crowded with children, while others use larger buses than the United States.
School buses outside the United States are often only for private school students, while in America you see school buses for all kinds of schools, including public education.