School Buses Present Safety Concerns
Taking precautions and warning your child of the potential dangers associated with riding a school bus can help prevent future injury.
School Buses Present Safety Concerns
- Every year in the United States, over 23 million children ride the school bus to elementary and secondary school.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the school bus transportation remains the largest and most safe public transportation system. Yet every year nearly 17,000 students find themselves in emergency rooms for school-bus related injuries.
- Around 20 percent of the time, school bus accident fatalities include key actors such as students, adults, pedestrians and cyclists. Many times it is the motorist who makes an illegal move that results in an accident.
- Some children get exposed to school bus safety as early as kindergarten. They are warned of the Danger Zone, which is the ten foot area around all sides of the school bus. It is in this area that the bus driver is unable to see a child.
- Children are encouraged to use handrails when exiting the bus, take ten large steps away from the bus upon the exit, and to never cross behind the bus.
- Children who are crossing a street to get on the bus need to take extra care, and are advised to stay still until the light turns red, look left, right, then left again. The second look left is essential as drivers may be oncoming and are closer to the child.
- All drivers are expected to know that yellow lights indicate that the bus is slowing down and is soon to come to a full stop. The majority of state laws require a driver to stop on both sides of the road unless there is a median dividing the opposite lanes of traffic.
School Bus Accident Information
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center and the NHTSA:
- About 24% of injuries involve getting on or off the bus, according to the CIPP report.
- More than 40% of school bus injuries are caused by vehicular accidents, according to a 2006 report by the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice (CIPP).
- An average of seven school-age passengers are killed in bus crashes every year but 19 are killed getting on and off the bus. Most are 5-7 years old.
- Parents can help: keep an eye on children waiting or departing for the bus, teach them bus safety rules about the “danger zone,” like taking five giant steps away from the bus before crossing so they can be seen by the driver.
- Bus seats are constructed in a way that seat belts are not needed, according to experts. This is called “compartmentalization.”
- Each seat “compartment” absorbs the force of the crash with higher, wider and thicker seats. The seat structure can bend forward, should a child be thrown into it. Seats are positioned no more than two feet apart, which limits the distance a child moves
- There is still a risk of injury should the child be thrown side to side or if the bus rolls over.
Contact an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney
Thomas J. Henry have handled a multitude of commercial vehicle accidents over the past two decades and continue to handle many of the largest 18-wheeler accident cases throughout the United States. Whether the company is small or large, our success is not an accident; it is because we understand how trucking companies operate. We represent clients/victims all over the country.
Thomas J. Henry are available to respond to truck and bus accidents at any hour, day or night. Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition, or acquiring, of evidence is paramount to understanding how the accident occurred. Remember, your choice does matter. Contact our offices – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.