School Bus Accident


A school bus accident lawyer Little Rock Arkansas handles one of the most tragic accident cases in which children are involved: school bus accidents. Broadly defined it is an accident in which a school bus, youth bus, youth activity bus, or a public bus transporting children is involved.


The accident can be a collision with another vehicle or an object, or it can be the result of acceleration, deceleration, or another movement inside the bus. School buses represent the most significant public transportation in the US, making about 9 million trips per year, transporting approximately 25 million students per day.


Causes of accidents

The causes of school bus accidents are similar to the ones of other motor vehicles:
  • inadequate driver training,
  • overloaded buses,
  • mechanical failures such as faulty breaks as a result of improper maintenance,
  • poor weather conditions,
  • dangerous roadways,
  • speed limit violation,
  • aggressive driving,
  • driver fatigue
  • and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.


Accident statistics

Even though there are fatalities, riding on the school bus is safer than riding in a passenger car. The fatality rate for school buses is 0.2 per 100 million vehicle miles (mvm) traveled, version 1.5 for cars!
The number of fatalities per year is about 20+, the majority of them are bus-related, and the rest are caused by other vehicles. Most accidents are in the afternoon, and more than half of the pedestrian fatalities are children between the ages of 5 and 7!


Possible injuries

School bus injuries can range from the mild to fatal:
  • burns,
  • sprains,
  • fractures,
  • concussions,
  • back and neck injuries,
  • brain injury and spinal cord injuries,
  • soft tissue injuries such as torn or pulled tendons,
  • herniated discs,
  • pinched nerves,
  • compressed nerves,
  • back strain as well as cervical
  • and back muscle injuries.


What shall I do?

When dealing with children, there is only one rule: expect the unexpected!
Second, prepare them for the traffic: stand away from the road till the bus arrives, when crossing the street look both ways and make sure the traffic has stopped before you step on the road, and remember, riding on the bus is a privilege to obey the rules!
When driving in places where children are present, drive slowly, expect children running out to the street out of nowhere, and expect all sorts of transportation devices like bicycle, skateboards, etc.


What mistakes shall I avoid?

For parents:
  • do not take your kid to school on a passenger car,
  • it is safer to use the bus (see above)
  • and do not neglect to educate your child about traffic and bus rules.
  • It is also a good idea to supervise your child while waiting for the bus to arrive.
For drivers:
do not rely on responsible child behavior in traffic – slow down and be alert at all times.
For children:
  • do not run around while waiting for the bus,
  • never, ever walk behind the bus to cross to the other side,
  • and do not pick up anything you may have dropped during boarding or drop off – ask the driver instead.


How to prevent an accident?

An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure, especially when children are involved!
To avoid accidents, follow some common-sense rules of traffic safety for kids:
  • younger children should always be supervised;
  • wait until the bus stops and the driver says it is OK to get on;
  • dress for visibility;
  • never distract the driver on the bus;
  • always stay seated (school buses do not have seat belts);
  • still walk straight as it is hard to see children bent over;
  • under no circumstances get under the bus if you dropped something;
  • always stay seated with your hands and arms inside the bus;
  • never cross the road behind the bus;
  • and do not pick up children from the opposite side of the drop of point.


Some legal advice

School bus accidents are the results of negligence:
  • the bus driver who should be adequately trained in safety;
  • the bus company that employed the driver and hence is liable (in most cases this would be the school board or districts);
  • the bus manufactures, in fact, it was a mechanical failure and
  • the other driver of another vehicle that caused the accident or the injury.
A school bus accident is a complicated case, and better left for a Little Rock school bus accident lawyer to handle. Please contact us for a free initial consultation.
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