School buses are the safest form of transportation for school-aged children. Unfortunately, school bus accidents still happen. Here’s what you can do to help keep children safe.
School buses provide an incredibly valuable service to families all across the United States. They arrive on schedule every day to safely transport parents’ most precious cargo to and from school and other school-related functions. We often take the safety of these buses for granted, and a recent increase in school bus accidents has caused many parents to think twice about putting their children on them.
In general, school bus accidents are a relatively rare occurrence. Yet, last year we saw a cluster of school bus-related accidents that occurred due to distracted drivers. “When it comes to the safety of children, we all have a responsibility to do our part in preventing these types of accidents from occurring,” says Dallas personal injury lawyer, Attorney Zach Herbert.
School Bus Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, school buses are among the safest vehicles on the road. In fact, a child is more likely to be involved in an accident while being transported by a parent or walking to school. Recent school bus accident statistics support both of these claims.
In a report covering the ten year period from 2006 to 2015, there were 1,172 fatal accidents that were related to school buses. This number represents not even half a percentage point of all fatal accidents that occurred during the same time period. Of these, the overwhelming majority happened when the child was outside of the school bus, including waiting at the bus stop or crossing the road. (1)
What we can gather from this information is that the biggest threat to children boarding, exiting or traveling on school buses is the other drivers on the road. This scenario is exactly what happened in a series of accidents that occurred in late 2018. The accidents that occurred in Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Florida resulted in five fatalities and seven injuries at the hands of distracted drivers who failed to slow down and stop at school bus stops.
Unfortunately, there were also several school bus crashes last year that resulted in injuries and fatalities- including one that occurred in North Texas last October in which one fatality and three injuries were reported.
A single school bus-related accident is one too many. Here is what you can do to help keep our communities and roadways a safer place for our children and the hardworking school bus drivers who are in charge of transporting them safely every day.
Tips for School Bus Safety
When it comes to accidents that occur at school bus stops, there’s only so much that the bus driver can do to keep children safe. On the roadways, school buses should be given extra attention from other drivers traveling on the same road. Here are a few tips for doing your part to promote school bus safety.
- If a school bus is in front of you, be prepared to stop. When a school bus approaches one of its stops, the driver will flash either yellow or red lights and extend an arm with a stop sign attached. Legally, your vehicle must stop at this point and wait for the bus to indicate it’s safe to resume travel, which is done by turning off the stop lights and lowering its arm.
- When braking, make sure you allow enough space between your vehicle and the bus for children to safely cross the road and enter or exit their bus.
- If you see children waiting at a bus stop, proceed with extreme caution. Children have less impulse control and often aren’t fully aware of the consequences of their actions. What’s common horseplay for them could turn into a tragic accident if a car comes along too quickly.
- Never block a crosswalk or attempt to pass another vehicle that’s stopped for pedestrians.
- If you’re traveling behind a school bus, allow yourself extra stopping distance.
Reach Out to a Personal Injury Attorney in Dallas
If you or someone you love has been involved in a school bus accident, please reach out to a personal injury attorney in Dallas to review your case. An experienced personal injury attorney at Herbert & Eberstein in Richardson can represent you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. The devastation of the accident was enough, there’s no reason to not seek the compensation you and your family deserve.
Dallas Personal Injury Attorney Zach Herbert