School Bus Accidents
When you send your child to school on a school bus, you anticipate a safe, uneventful ride there and back. Unfortunately, accidents involving school buses do occur, and sometimes they result in serious injuries or death.
Over a nine-year period, roughly 130 fatalities related to school transportation occurred every year across the nation. That’s nearly 1,300 fatalities over that time frame. Another 60 school children were struck by buses and lost their lives. That’s an average of 6 deaths per year.
Frightening Accidents in Florida
Far too often, Florida children are terrified as their school buses are involved in horrendous accidents:
- In April 2018, a semi-truck plowed through a red light, smashing in to a school bus and causing it to spin and tumble onto its side. Fifty yards later, the skidding bus came to rest. Fortunately, no serious physical injuries resulted;
- May 2018 saw a school bus involved in a head-on collision with an SUV in Tallahassee. The driver of the SUV was killed, and three students were injured and sent to a nearby hospital;
- A Tampa area school bus driver rear-ended another school bus in 2013, sending more than a dozen students to area hospitals;
- A private school bus in Miami rolled over after being struck by a car in 2017, injuring multiple children on their first day of school;
Seat Belts on the Bus
The National Safety Council (NSC) provides a number of tips to keep kids safer on the school bus. One key factor in keeping children safe: buckle up. Florida is one of just a handful of states where the law requires school buses to provide seat belts, although older buses don’t always have them:
- Buses purchased after 2001 must be equipped with restraints for students;
- Elementary students are prioritized to be assigned to buses with restraints first;
- Bus passengers are required to use these restraints any time the bus is in motion.
Educate Riders on Safe Actions
There are plenty of things children of all ages can do to enhance their own safety, and providing the education they need to be safe is essential to positive outcomes:
- Wait for the bus as far from the street as possible, and avoid goofing around with pushing and shoving;
- Don’t head toward the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the doors have been opened;
- Hold on to the hand rail while boarding and disembarking;
- Avoid distracting the driver with loud noise or rowdy behavior;
- Stay seated while the bus is in motion;
- Keep bus aisles cleared;
- Buckle up if restraints are available.
- Don’t cross the road in front of a bus unless you’ve made eye contact with the driver and have been signaled to go ahead;
- In the event of an emergency, remain calm and follow instructions.
If your child is injured or traumatized in a school bus accident, many factors will weigh in to determine liability. At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, our experienced team will investigate and pursue justice on behalf of your little one. Contact us in Daytona and Ormond Beach for a confidential consultation today.