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Understanding School Bus Accidents and Safety Measures

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School Bus Accidents Can Create Devastating Losses

Most of us may think of precious cargo when a school bus drives by. There are likely several children on board on their way to or from school, and safely arriving at their destination is essential to the driver, the parents of each of those children, any vehicles or pedestrians the bus may come in contact with, and all loved ones involved.

Car accidents happen every hour across the country. School bus accidents are a little less common, but not as much as one would hope.

According to the National Safety Council, a small percentage of school bus accidents result in the death of a passenger or bus driver, and an average of 70% of school bus-related deaths occur in other drivers that collide with the bus.

Common Causes For School Bus Accidents

Over the years and with continued safety measure efforts, school buses remain one of the safest forms of transportation for children getting to and from school. Nevertheless, accidents happen very often. Why?

Below are some of the most common examples of school bus accidents:

Weather conditions – school buses may be hard to navigate even in the best of weather due to the size of the vehicle, the way the weight shifts with children getting on and off, and the, at times, chaotic atmosphere that buses can be.

Driver Errors – unfortunately, one of the most common reasons for school bus accidents is driver error. Humans make mistakes, and just as when a driver of a standard vehicle can get distracted or make poor decisions behind the wheel, so can school bus drivers. Fatigue and improperly or under-trained employees can also lead quickly to accidents occurring.

Blind Spots – due to the larger size of school buses, it can be challenging to adequately check a blind spot and navigate safely along with traffic.

Negligent Drivers or Negligent Company Owners

Negligence can be present when the company hires the drivers or the drivers themselves. Hiring companies may attempt to cut budget corners by avoiding regular training or drug/alcohol testing for their drivers, which can lead to accidents.

Improper or non-existent bus maintenance can also play a significant role in accidents. Considerable damage can occur if the brakes on a standard vehicle go out. If the brakes on a giant school bus aren’t properly maintained and they give out, the results can be catastrophic. Similarly, tires, adequate lights/flashers, and more must be checked often and maintained to ensure the bus can safely transport children to and from school.

What Safety Measures Can I Teach My Children to Prevent Bus Accidents?

Safety can start in the home with some easy steps to ensure your child understands the risk if they aren’t acting appropriately on the school bus. They can learn to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before attempting to climb on or off the bus, they can check multiple times before crossing the street to get on the bus, refrain from roughhousing on the bus so as not to distract the driver, and more. Children can also be reminded to keep all limbs inside the vehicle to help the driver see clearly.

What Other Safety Measures Can Help Avoid Accidents?

The general public can be more vigilant when they are around school buses. Driving past a school bus with its stop sign out is illegal. They use this to help facilitate children safely crossing the street, and if drivers ignore this alert, they can easily cause an accident.

Drivers can also pay close attention to school zones to follow the speed limits during school hours and be vigilant of crosswalks, as children often run or walk across the street to get to the bus or off of it.

Communities and school districts can employ police officers or flag people to come to the school and assist the children crossing the street during busy school times.

Were You or a Loved One Involved in a School Bus Accident?

As with any accident, the circumstances can be frustrating at best and catastrophic at worst. With school buses’ sheer size, accidents can quickly create severe damage and death. Other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists won’t have the advantage of the extensive framework around them, and if they collide with a bus, there can be severe consequences.

Avoiding accidents entirely may not seem realistic, but the risks can be mitigated by talking to your children about the safety concerns and how they can play their part in ensuring they and their schoolmates arrive safely to school.

Being an observant driver can also help boost safety precautions when on the road. Allow for more room when a school bus is present, especially in inclement weather conditions. Obey traffic signs and flashing lights or stop signs from the bus.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a school bus accident, don’t hesitate to call our office and speak with one of our team. We will help you establish the facts that led to the accident and how we can best formulate a winning strategy for you. Our clients have consistently said that we provide a warm and professional environment and are an extremely capable team they can be relied on.

We treat our clients with the respect and urgency they deserve and look forward to serving you too. Call us today at (713) 999-6549 to get started.

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