Preparing for school means back to school shopping, stranger danger, new friends and new routines. For some, that means they’ll be transported by a local school bus. Even though riding the bus is still considered the safest way to transport children to school, accidents do happen. As your children start their new school year, take the time to go over school bus rules and what they should do if they end up in a school bus accident.
The Definition of “School Bus”
As defined by Arizona law; ARS 28-101. “School bus” means a motor vehicle that is designed for carrying more than ten passengers and that is either:
(a) Owned by any public or governmental agency or other institution and operated for the transportation of children to or from home or school on a regularly scheduled basis.
(b) Privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of children to or from home or school on a regularly scheduled basis.
What Defines a School Bus Accident?
A school bus accident is not just limited to a crash, but can also include other injuries like slipping or falling on the bus, or being struck while boarding or getting out of the school bus.
School Bus Accident Statistics
While a child’s risk of being injured or killed in a school bus is low, there are still a significant number of these types of accidents every year in the United States. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), around 134 people die in school bus-related crashes every year.
Of these, 8% are traveling on the buses. Bicyclists, pedestrians and other influences outside of the bus make up 21% of the fatalities. Between 2004 and 2015, approximately 106 people have been killed while driving or riding in a school bus; 45 were drivers, and 61 were passengers.Top causes of a school bus accident include kid safety issues and driver distraction.
School buses are not required to have seatbelts which can lead to injury, along with children not remaining in their seats. Distractions and other hazards can also lead to kids not being prepared for an accident, including loud conversations, putting their arms, head or hands out of the windows and leaving things in the aisles.
One of the biggest causes of school bus accidents related to driver distraction is unruly children. Teach your children to behave on the bus and not to make loud noises or speak loudly, which will distract the school bus driver.
How to Find a School Bus Accident Lawyer
Claims against a State’s municipalities are typically subject to more stringent guidelines, which include shorter time limitations for taking legal action. These complications can cause problems for lawyers who aren’t knowledgeable about the complexities of the claims process. It’s also extremely important to identify the appropriate party, or parties, who are responsible and liable for your child’s injuries.
An experienced school bus accident attorney will have the knowledge and expertise to evaluate the evidence, facts and intricate legal principles that are involved to ensure that your family experiences the best possible outcome.
If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact us to evaluate your case.