In 2017, the nationwide yearly average for school bus-related deaths was 95. However, it’s important to note that this number includes occupants of school-transportation and non-occupants.
But aren’t school buses supposed to be safe? Fortunately, school buses remain the safest vehicle on the road.
Despite the statistics, your child is much safer traveling to school in a school bus as opposed to a car.
However, it’s essential for parents and school employees to be aware of these three types of bus accidents that children, pedestrians and other motorists can be susceptible to.
To start off, school transportation accidents that involve children experiencing an injury on a bus remains the rarest type of bus accident. This is due to the high level of safety that school bus companies implement.
There is no doubt that school buses are extremely large and extremely heavy. This allows school buses to absorb much less crash force and distribute that crash force differently than the average car, protecting those who are in the school transportation vehicles.
Children don’t even need to be wearing a seat belt to be considered safe in a school bus. This is thanks to compartmentalization. Compartmentalization is the technique in which children are protected from the closely packed seats that are made of energy absorbing material.
But, unfortunately, there are circumstances where children on a bus can be injured. This can result from mechanical errors in the bus, severe weather conditions or distracted drivers.
Legal claims that go along with this type of bus crash can include wrongful death, workers’ compensation or personal injury.
In the grand scheme of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania bus accidents, other motorists are more at stake to undergo school transportation-related injuries than children inside a bus.
Since school buses are designed to compartmentalize the force of a crash, other vehicles often take a harder hit. In fact, 70 percent of school transportation-related deaths happen to people in another vehicle.
For example, say you are driving to work early on a Monday morning as the school bus in front of you slows down at a bus stop. The bus driver turns on his flashing red lights and extends the stop sign on the side of the bus.
As you come to a halt behind the bus, the driver behind you does not. So not only have you now been rear-ended, but you have also rear-ended the bus in front of you, leaving you and your car in the middle of the accident to absorb all of the force.
Because that force can be so drastic, injuries from school bus accidents that involve other motorists can range from bumps and bruises to unfortunate fatalities. Because of this, drivers should always be conscious of their surroundings on the road to protect both their safety and the safety of the children who are on the bus.
Much like the last type of school transportation-related accident, this type of accident can also result from mechanical errors, distracted drivers and severe weather conditions.
This type of bus accident could result in a property damage, personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Another common school bus-related incident involves pedestrians. These pedestrians can include children crossing the road to get to and from school or even adults going for their morning run.
Again, you would think that it would be easy to spot a bright yellow school bus from a mile away. But if a pedestrian or a school bus driver isn’t paying attention, an accident can happen within the blink of an eye.
Pedestrians accounted for 20 percent of the school transportation-related deaths from 2007 to 2016. Most of these accidents happen when the school bus is driving straight ahead as opposed to changing lanes, turning or swerving. So it’s important for you and your child to always keep an eye out for school buses while walking.
In the unfortunate case that you or someone you know experiences this type of bus accident, a personal injury or wrongful death claim could be filed.
You would think that a massive, bright yellow bus would be enough to practice school bus accident prevention. But, unfortunately, there are too many school transportation-related accidents every single year.
Luckily, there are ways that you and your child can both practice school bus safety and bus accident prevention. For starters, make sure that you know your state’s bus stopping laws. Because not only can following these laws prevent you from getting a massive ticket, but that can also prevent you from getting in bus accidents.
Make sure your child is aware of bus stop safety. This includes getting to the bus stop with at least five minutes to spare and having a designated waiting area as far away from the curb as possible. You should also instruct your child to refrain from walking behind a bus and close to the curbs.
It’s also essential to refrain from distracted driving. While most parents are aware of the dangers of texting while driving, distracted driving encompasses much more than that. For example, always keep your eyes glued to the road with two hands on the wheel.
Refrain from changing the radio, reaching for something in the back seat and digging in your purse. Because the last thing you want to do is hit a school bus because you weren’t paying attention to the road.
Lastly, always keep a safe distance from school buses whether you are walking, driving or cycling. It’s simply better to be safe than sorry. And by avoiding school transportation at all costs, you are already creating a safer environment for you, your child and everyone else on the road.
School bus accidents aren’t the only type of bus accidents that people should be aware of on the road. It’s important to also be wary of New York city bus accidents as well.
These accidents can result from bus drivers who are not properly trained and from drivers failing to see other vehicles on the road. And while city buses are large and bulky, much like school buses are, distracted drivers risk the hazard of causing a city bus crash.
Just a few month back six people were injured when the driver of a Brooklyn MTA bus crashed in the Crown Heights section of Kings County.
Plus, the standard rollover rate for bus accidents are much higher than other vehicles. And these accidents can, unfortunately, cause significant property damage and bodily injury.
New York school bus accidents are tragic and unfortunate circumstances. And, unfortunately, even with the proper education and prevention, these accidents still take place. If you or someone you know has experienced a school transportation-related accident, know that you are not alone.
Here at Find Injury Law, we have 30 years of experience in working hard to put you in contact with the best personal injury firm for you and your case. Contact us today to receive the legal guidance you need.