School Bus Accident
School buses are designed to safely transport children to and from school. Statistically speaking, they’re a much safer option than traditional passenger occupant vehicles. Although they’re fairly safe, as far as large yellow vehicles go, they’re still not totally without risk. In fact, one of the most dangerous parts of riding a school bus is getting on and off of it. Parents can talk to their kids about safe school bus behaviors and also about the dangers and risks associated with school buses. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, it’s a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible about your case.
School Bus Safety
Thankfully, school buses are pretty well designed to safely transport children. They’re large, highly visible and have shock-absorbing tall seat backs to protect children in the event of a crash. This means that in most cases of school bus accidents, children will be relatively protected from severe or catastrophic injury. These types of accidents could include distracted drivers, careless drivers, minor fender benders or other types of accidents occurring at relatively low speeds. It’s important to note that accidents involving school bus rollovers or anything else more serious could involve moderate to severe injuries to the small occupants inside.
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- 75 school-aged pedestrians are killed each year during school travel.
- 21 school-aged bicyclists are killed in crashes each year during school travel.
- Three children between the ages of 5 and 18 years old die as non-occupants each year during school travel. (Not walking or biking, maybe on skateboard, scooter or sitting on car)
- 4 school-aged children are killed each year while occupants of school buses or other vehicles used as school buses during school travel.
- 490 school-aged children are killed each year during school travel while occupants in passenger vehicles.
The Danger Zone
The most dangerous part of riding a school bus is getting on and off of it. The “Danger Zone” is the 10-foot radius extending all around the vehicle. It is difficult for bus drivers to see children in the “Danger Zone.” This area is also where children might be struck by careless drivers who aren’t stopping for the flashing lights and stop sign of a school bus. This is where child pedestrian injuries and fatalities occur. This is why it’s absolutely critical for school administrators, bus drivers and parents to talk to students and children about staying safe in the “Danger Zone.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a variety of tips for how children can stay safe around school buses.
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- Stand far back from approaching the school bus while waiting at the stop.
- Wait to board the bus until the driver says it’s safe.
- When getting off of the bus, walk well in front of the bus, and make sure the driver sees you.
- Always watch for oncoming traffic when approaching or leaving the bus.
- Keep all loose items in your backpack. If you drop something outside the bus, ask the driver for help before retrieving it.
Talking to Children
The NHTSA recommends parents talk to their children about school bus safety. Don’t count on your child’s school to do a thorough enough job. Even if they have heard it once, it never hurts to talk about it again. It goes without saying that children should always be riding in school buses properly, facing forward and wearing seat belts, if available. They should always listen to the bus driver, especially when embarking and departing from the bus. If your child does happen to suffer from an injury in a school bus accident crash, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
After any kind of school bus accident, either as an occupant or a pedestrian, your top priority needs to be your child’s health and wellbeing. Even if it was a seemingly minor accident, make sure your child gets a medical evaluation. Concussions and traumatic brain injuries can be difficult to detect, especially in small children. No matter how small the school bus accident was, take your child to the doctor as soon as possible. Once the immediate medical concerns have been addressed, you can contact a lawyer.
If your child has been injured while riding on a school bus or while getting on or off of a school bus, contact the legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation today.