With the warmer weather approaching, more citizens are on the road. This includes school buses as field trips are more prominent in the warmer months. Children are excited to get outside of the classroom and enjoy the sunshine. However, this extra time on the road could pose a threat to our children’s safety. Car accidents tend to spike in the warmer months as more vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians are on the road. Although those yellow buses are often hard to miss, they are also vulnerable to car crashes.
About 24 million students are transported greater than 4 billion miles on school buses every year. Though they are designed to be the safest form of travel to transport children to and from school, accidents do happen, and school buses are not immune. The National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there were 1,214 fatal crashes involving school transportation vehicles from 2004 to 2013, averaging 134 fatalities each year. However, according the the NHTSA, most children are killed when they are hit by a school bus rather than riding one. This may occur when a child jumps in front of a bus unexpectedly or when a motorist illegally passes a stopped school bus. Even though school bus drivers are specially trained to use their mirrors and follow special procedures to avoid injuries to the students they are transporting, accidents can still happen.
Seat belts on school buses are not required in every state although New York State requires lap belts on school buses. Proponents of seat belt use, The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended the use of seat belts on school buses since 1996. They question what safety measures are in place to protect children in the event that a school bus rolls over. However, other organizations such as the NHTSA have not pushed seat belt use on buses. They worry that it would lower the number of students allowed on the bus, forcing some children to take other transportation that may be less safe.
School bus accidents are preventable. Teach your children the proper school bus etiquette to ensure their safety:
Instruct your children to be careful
Your kids should be aware of their surroundings at the bus stop. Keep distractions like cell phones, loud music, and chatting with friends at a minimum.
Monitoring your children at the bus stop
It is a good idea to check on the bus stop and help keep it clear of dangers.
Teaching children proper bus safety
Inform your children on how to recognize unsafe situations both at the bus stop and on the bus itself.
Always remind your children that bus drivers can become distracted in various ways. Students misbehaving may lead to the bus driver’s eyes off the road, even for a moment.
Despite our best efforts, accidents still happen and our children may become injured in a school bus accident. These injuries can range from bumps and bruises to traumatic brain injury.
Driver negligence is extremely dangerous on the road. Distracted driving is all too common these days, as discussed in a previous blog post we wrote. Many other drivers are commuting to work, possibly drinking their coffee, eating breakfast, and some may be tired from lack of sleep the night before. This poses a danger to the entire community, including our children on school buses. A driver reaching for his coffee may take his eyes off the road for a moment and miss a child crossing the street to the bus. It is extremely vital to also pay attention to the road, especially around our children on school buses.
If you or a loved one has been injured or even suffered from wrongful death as a result of a bus accident, you need one of the best accident lawyers in Central New York. The lawyers at Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman are bus accident attorneys ready to fight for you. Do not work with just any personal injury attorney, choose one that knows the area, knows the system, knows the courtroom, but most importantly, knows YOU. Contact The People’s Lawyer to set up a free consultation with a bus injury lawyer today.
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