Students are about 70 percent more likely to arrive at school safely when traveling by school bus instead of by car. Of the 340,000 fatal motor vehicle crashes from 2004 to 2013, less than half a percent were school-transportation related, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The safety of school buses is attributable in large part to the stringent regulation of their construction and safety performance by the NHTSA. However, despite the relative safety of school bus transportation, accidents happen and it is important to be aware of practices to follow to help ensure children’s safety.
Bus Stop Safety Tips for Children
Arrive a few minutes early
Stand at least six feet away from the curb
Do not run or play at the bus stop
Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before boarding
Do not walk behind the bus
If crossing in front of the bus, make eye contact with the driver
If something is dropped near the bus, do not attempt to pick it up; rather, alert the bus driver
Bus Stop Safety Tips for Bus Drivers
Watch for children when backing out
Be cautious in school zones
Be alert for children playing near bus stops or running into the street
Bus Stop Safety Tips for Drivers
Slow down when the bus is flashing its yellow lights
Stop and wait when the bus has put down extended arm stops and is flashing red lights
Seatbelts on School Buses
Once children have gotten on the bus, they may or may not have to wear a seatbelt depending on the size of the bus. The NHTSA determined that larger school buses do not require the use of seatbelts because of their weight and the way in which they distribute crash forces. Therefore, instead of seatbelts, the NHTSA has implemented compartmentalization which protects children from crashes by having seats spaced closely together with energy-absorbing seat backs. Smaller school buses must be equipped with seatbelts because they are closer in size to cars and trucks and therefore experience more crash force than larger school buses.
Responsibility for School Bus Accidents
A negligent bus driver may be responsible for the injuries to children on the bus as well as others involved in the accident. The negligence of a bus driver is not the only factor considered in determining responsibility for injuries sustained in a school bus accident. If the bus is owned by the district, sovereign immunity statutes may protect the district from lawsuits. However, in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, many school buses are owned by private companies contracted by the district. In those cases, the private company may be held liable for injuries or fatalities resulting from school bus accidents.
Delaware Bus Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Represent Victims Injured in School Bus Accidents
If your child was injured in a school bus accident, contact an experienced Delaware bus accident lawyer at McCann & Wall, LLC. We will fight to obtain compensation for your injuries including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Our offices are in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey and we represent clients in cities throughout those states, including Philadelphia, Delaware County, and Chester County. Contact us online or call us at 302-304-8047 to schedule an appointment.