You may currently have children enrolled in school who rely on the bus for transportation. Though school buses have long been thought of as a safe way to travel, itâ€™s interesting to learn that most donâ€™t even offer seatbelts. As a result, annually, hundreds of kids are killed, and millions more are injured due to school bus accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 134 people die in school-vehicle-related crashes each year, including those on the bus, pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other automobiles. Change must happen.
If you or your child has been involved in a bus-related accident, then contact Fried Goldberg Rogers for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Due to the statute of limitations on school bus claims, itâ€™s imperative that you get in touch with a school bus attorney as soon as possible to assist you in better understanding your legal options.
With decades of combined experience, our attorneys have the skills and knowledge to help you move forward. From phone calls to medical records, we will handle all aspects of your case.
School Bus Accident Statistics
According to the NHTSA, key findings regarding school bus accident statistics from 2004-2013 include:
- From 2004 to 2013, there were 327 school-age children who died in school-transportation-related crashes.
- More school-age pedestrians were killed from 7 to 8 a.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. than any other hours of the day.
- There were 42 (36%) school-age pedestrians killed in school-transportation-related crashes who were 8 to 13 years old.
- More than two-thirds (67%) of the school-age pedestrians fatally injured in crashes were struck by school buses or vehicles functioning as school busses.
- Impacts to the front of school transportation vehicles occurred in 53 percent of fatal school-transportation-related crashes.
Common Causes of School Bus Accidents
Just like any other type of wreck, a school bus accident is preventable. However, these crashes are still common, and often occur due to negligence of a third party, or even the bus driver. Specifically, common causes include:
- Lack or improper training of drivers
- Poor maintenance
- Road conditions
- Weather conditions
- Driverâ€™s disposition
School Bus Accident Prevention
As mentioned above, (most) school bus accidents can be prevented. Both the driver and children riding the bus need to be prepared, and know how to react in certain situations.
For example, itâ€™s imperative for all drivers to maintain a firm level of professionalism, while morale is simultaneously preserved. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, poor vehicle operation more often reflects a driverâ€™s attitude than driving skills or knowledge.
Itâ€™s equally important for drivers to be aware of sounds and volume control. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there have been examples where a driver couldnâ€™t hear an approaching train due to noises on the bus. Therefore, itâ€™s vital to maintain a reasonably quiet bus in order to avoid accidents.
Drivers should also be cautious about only following practices that are accepted, as well as never letting their guard down.
Preventing School Bus Accidents
In order to help prevent a school bus accident from taking place, parents need to ensure that children are doing their part, too.
- Enter and exit the bus in an orderly manner.
- Do not enter the bus unless it is at a full and complete stop.
- Wait for the bus in a safe location away from traffic.
- Always use the handrail when entering the bus.
- Stay seated throughout the duration of the trip.
- Keep all objects (and body parts) inside the bus at all times.
- Keep aisle free and clear throughout the ride.
- Do not distract the bus driver.
- All passengers should walk at least 10 feet from the front of the bus before crossing the street.
- The driver should give a signal before anyone crosses the street.
- Do not cross from behind the bus.
Steps to Take After a School Bus Accident
If your child has been involved in a school bus accident, we offer our deepest condolences. And while kids are often the victims of these types of wrecks, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers of other vehicles have also been known to be harmed.
Following a school bus accident, the following steps should be taken:
- Receive Medical Attention: Seeking immediate medical attention is important, even if it seems that only minor injuries have been suffered. After all, it may take a day or two for some accident injuries to surface.
- Document the Injuries: Following the accident, take photographs or videos of every single mark.
- Keep Records: Keep and maintain all paperwork you receive from the hospital, doctors and reporting police officer(s).
- Gather Information: Depending on the severity of the crash, if you can, obtain phone numbers and addresses from other victims, drivers and witnesses.
- Contact an Experienced Lawyer: Contact an experienced school bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. In doing so, your only focus will be on healing, or helping your child to heal.
Who Is Responsible After a School Bus Accident?
Following an injury that takes place at school, during a school activity or while on school property, it will be imperative to determine who is responsible. This can often be a daunting task. Even if the school or a school employee isnâ€™t directly responsible for the injury that takes place, the school district may still be legally liable for the damage.
If you believe the school district might be responsible for your childâ€™s injury, then you should speak with a professional attorney to assess your case. Due to the circumstances, it might be necessary for someone with skills and experience to help you determine your next step.
Speak to an Experienced Accident Attorney
School bus accidents are devastating, often leaving victims scared, injured or even worse. Those who are unfamiliar with the legal process around bus-related accidents may be left feeling confused or overwhelmed. You need someone with experience on your side, a team who has the knowledge and skills to stand up and fight for you.
If you or a loved one is attempting to move on with your life following a bus accident, Fried Rogers Goldberg can help. Contact us today at (404) 591-1800 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Moving forward, we guarantee a smooth, convenient procedure. We look forward to hearing from you, and assisting you in taking this next step. Let us be your advocates â€“ call us today.