Start of New Academic Year Means School Bus Accidents
- Mar 16, 2016
- By: Tom Schimmerling
On a recent Tuesday morning, the parents of nine New York children received news no parent ever wants to hear: their children had been injured in a school bus accident. The crash occurred when a speeding car rammed into the bus, which had made a routine stop at a traffic light. While a hospital visit confirmed none of the injuries were serious, the children and their parents were shaken up significantly by the collisions.
Built for safety
While the presence of reckless drivers on our roads cannot be predicted, current school buses are designed to be safer than private vehicles with regard to preventing injuries and avoiding crashes. Safety features such as reinforced sides, special lights, and cross-view mirrors contribute to their roadworthiness. Drivers in this day and age are also better qualified and screened than in years past, with specific training in in student behavior management, security protocols, and emergency medical procedures.
Tragic trips to and from school
Despite the safety measures described above, school buses still pose dangers to passengers and pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), 174 school-age children died in school-transportation-related crashes between 2003 and 2012, 55 of which were occupants of school transportation vehicles. During that same period 195 pedestrians were killed when school vehicles collided with them. As these statistics illustrate, safety in and around school buses remains a major issue.
New Year, New Risks
With the new school year in swing, the school bus crash discussed above will hopefully not be the beginning of more to come. To that end, it’s important for parents to regularly remind children of the following safety guidelines:
- Always use safety straps and seat belts whenever available in school transportation vehicles
- Board buses one at a time and walk five large steps from the front of the bus before crossing in front of it
- Ask drivers for help if something gets dropped while getting off or on the bus.
- Remain in seats facing forward whenever the bus is moving
- Respect the school bus driver and any instructions that are given
If your children were involved in a school bus accident, you may require an expert in bus accident law to recover the damages you and your family deserve.