A fatal collision in Monroe County left 35-school children traumatized recently. According to Time Warner Cable News, a driver ran a stop sign and was hit by the bus in which the children were riding. The driver was killed. Five of the children aboard the bus required medical attention but fortunately none were seriously hurt. Not all children are so lucky when involved in a bus collision.
School buses are reportedly the safest way for children to commute to and from school. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), just one percent of kids who lose their lives in fatal school transportation accidents die involving collisions with school buses.
Still, accidents do happen. An NHTSA Fact Sheet reveals that a total of 1,222 fatal accidents resulted in kids dying while commuting to or from school from 2003 to 2012. In total, 119 of the kids who died were killed in pedestrian accidents involving a school bus and 55 were killed while riding a school bus. If a child is injured or killed when commuting to school, a personal injury lawyer can help parents to pursue a claim for compensation.
Preventing School Bus Accidents
The NHTSA’s website, Kids, the School Bus and You, provides safety tips for drivers to keep kids safe as children commute to school and provides safety tips for kids who take the bus to school.
To prevent accidents, drivers are urged to:
- Be on the lookout for kids who are walking to school before pulling out of driveways.
- Watch or signs indicating that you are in a school zone and follow the lower speed limit while looking carefully for kids.
- Be especially vigilant in looking for kids walking to school in areas where there are no sidewalks for kids to walk on.
- Follow the legal rules and stop for school buses that have red flashing lights and an extended stop arm. Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean that it is time for drivers to prepare to stop.
To prevent accidents involving school buses, kids are urged to:
- Get to the bus stop five minutes or more before the scheduled time of arrival.
- Stay six feet, or three giant steps, away from the curb while waiting and before boarding the bus.
- Line up in the direction away from the street while waiting to board the bus.
- Wait until the bus has stopped completely and the driver has said that it is OK before trying to get on the bus.
- Use the handrails when getting on and off of the bus to avoid falls.
- Leave at least 10 feet between you and the bus when you are crossing. Always cross in front of the bus and never get behind the bus.
- Leave at least 3 large steps, or six feet, between you and the side of the bus.
- Avoid stooping or bending down to pick up any dropped items unless you have first told the driver that you are going to do so, as bus drivers may not see you if you are bending over.
Parents should remind kids of these best practices for safety in order to reduce the chances that a school bus accident will occur during this school year. If kids and drivers do their part, hopefully children will be able to commute to and from school without a collision occurring.
If you need an injury attorney in Rochester or Buffalo, contact the Law Offices of James Morris at 1-800-477-9040. Attorney advertising.