School buses are considered as one of the safest modes of transportation. Usually, most schools tend to choose only expert drivers for the task. Plus, school bus drivers tend to take extra care when boarding children on or off the bus, while stopping the vehicle, etc. Unfortunately, no vehicle is immune to road accidents including school buses. You will be amazed to know that more than 137 people are killed and hundreds of people are injured in school bus accidents every year.
Note that it is not necessary that every school bus accident victim has to be a passenger on the bus. Rather, it can be the passengers on the opposite vehicle, pedestrians, etc. In fact, only 7% of the school bus passengers tend to make the school bus accident victims. After all, it is safer to be inside the bus because of its huge size and structure. According to some studies, the statistics of school bus accidents in the past few years indicate that;
- 72% of the victims were the occupants of other vehicles
- 7% of the victims were the passengers on the school bus
- 21% of the victims were bicyclists and pedestrians
Now, you are most likely to mull over multiple questions such as the types and severity of injuries caused by school bus accidents, ways to prevent such unfortunate accidents, etc. To give you better clarity about all such things, below are three scenarios under which a school bus can get involved in accidents. Referring to these points will give you potential ideas regarding the ways to prevent such accidents as well as the types of injuries that can be resulted from these accidents.
When a School Bus Collides with Other Motorists
This happens mostly during the early hours when the drivers will be half sleepy. At times, other passenger vehicle drivers are unlikely to notice the sudden halt or stop made by the school bus right in front of them. As a result, they are likely to hit their vehicles on the back of the school bus. Similarly, if they managed to stop on time, the vehicle at their back is likely to collide with them. This type of rear-end collisions can result in fatal injuries, especially if the vehicle behind your car is a truck or other huge automobiles.
Some of the common injuries caused by such rear-end collisions include severe head injuries, herniated disc injuries, fractures, neck injuries, whiplash, chronic pain, spinal cord injuries, etc. If you or your loved ones ever get involved in such accidents, the type of legal claims that you may file against the opposite party with the help of a seasoned bus accident attorney includes personal injury lawsuit, property damage lawsuit, and wrongful death lawsuit.
The number of blind spots will be more with huge vehicles and hence, pedestrian accidents are common in this case. Usually, school bus drivers often fail to spot pedestrians crossing the road and hit them. According to some studies, more than 17 pedestrians tend to die in school bus accidents every year. Unlike most people thinks, such accidents do not usually happen when school buses change lanes, swerve, or negotiate a curve. Rather, it happens when the buses are driving straight ahead.
Needless to mention, such accidents can usually result in the death of the victim. Otherwise, the victim is likely to suffer from lifelong injuries or health conditions such as paralysis, amputation, broken spinal cord, etc. When it comes to the types of legal claims that you may consider in this case, wrongful death lawsuit and personal injury claims are the most appropriate ones. Needless to mention, rely on the services of a specialized bus accident lawyer to yield the best results.
When the Occupants of the School Bus are Injured
This is the rarest scenario that happens in the case of school bus accidents. Usually, such accidents occur as a result of poor weather, road conditions, manufacturing defects, etc. Sometimes, the tires of the school buses will not be conditioned enough to address the slick roads and it often fails to stop when the driver hits the brakes. As a result, the occupants may lose their balance and fall forward resulting in injuries. The lack of seat belts in school buses is to blame in this case.
However, unlike the former types of school bus accidents, the chances of wrongful death are almost zero in this case. It is to be noted that the type of injuries that a school bus accident victim is likely to suffer in this case include spinal cord injuries, bumps, bruises, head injuries, fractures, neck injuries, etc. Some of the common legal claims that you may consider in this case to obtain financial coverage for your damage include personal injury lawsuit and workers’ compensation.
Tips to Prevent School Bus Accidents
Of course, you cannot foresee school bus accidents. Still, you can take some steps to avoid such accidents and protect your children and other fellow passengers. Some of those steps include;
- Understand the laws in your state associated with school buses
- Keep from distracted and drunken driving
- Understand the bus stop safety guidelines and rules
- Always try to maintain a safe distance from the school bus in front of you while driving