Series of School Bus Crashes Prompt Safety Questions
School buses are generally considered the safest way for children to get to and from school. Crashes involving school-transportation related vehicles are rare, but when they do occur, they can be very distressing. Since January of 2015, there have been at least three school bus accidents in our area alone. Yesterday, 30 elementary and middle school students were on board an Athens Area School District bus when it crashed into a tree in Bradford County. The driver and eight students were taken to a hospital. Earlier this year, a car crashed into the back of a bus carrying 14 students in Northumberland County; the students were unharmed but the driver of the car suffered injuries. This crash happened just a week after two buses collided on icy roads in Schuylkill County. Three students were hospitalized for minor injuries.
Just yesterday morning, heavy fog was to blame for three school bus accidents in a matter of hours in western Ohio.
- School buses keep an estimated 17.3 million cars off the road each morning
- Students who travel to school by bus are 50 times less likely to get in an accident on the bus than if they get a ride with teenage friends; they are 20 times less likely to get in an accident on the bus than if driven by a parent
- School transportation related crashes account for 0.35% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in the U.S.
- From 2003-2012, 174 school-age children died in school-transportation related crashes; 55 were occupants of school vehicles, 119 were pedestrians
School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles. Their excessive size and weight combined with their reinforced sides make them more resilient in the event of an accident. When crashes do happen, bus occupants are far more likely to survive than other motorists or pedestrians involved. Most of the people who lost their lives in a crash with a school vehicle were passengers in other automobiles, or pedestrians. But that is not to say that school buses are without safety concerns. Many people have expressed their concern about the lack of seat belts on school buses, and several states have implemented the use of school bus seat belts: California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. After all, seat belts are among the most effective means of preventing injury and death in the event of a motor vehicle accident. While there is some debate about the practicality of this idea, it is our feeling, as personal injury lawyers and as parents, that safety restraint systems should be considered in an effort to maximize our children’s safety.
If you or your child have been involved in an accident with a bus or school bus, the resulting legal situation can be much more complicated than a typical car accident case. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, it is best to have an experienced bus accident lawyer on your side to make sure your rights are protected. If you need assistance with your bus accident case, contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys as soon as possible. We offer free consultations, so you risk nothing by coming to meet with an attorney to discuss your legal options. We will answer all of your questions and help you to determine the next steps to take. We can be reached at 855-866-5529.
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