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A closer look at school bus safety

According to the American School Bus Council, nearly 25 million children take the bus to school every weekday. Each time a parent sends their children off to class, they trust that the trip to and from school take place without incident.

Unfortunately, parents in Indiana, Florida, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania have suffered terrible losses in recent weeks. On October 30, four children were struck by an inattentive driver as they were getting ready to board their school bus in Rochester, Indiana, killing three and leaving one seriously injured. This tragedy turned out to be only the beginning.

  • The next day, on October 31, two more children were hit near their school buses, one in Mississippi and the other in Florida.
  • On November 1, a seven-year-old boy died after being hit near his bus stop in Franklin Township, Pennsylvania. Three children and two adults were struck by a speeding driver in Florida the same day but survived.

The Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a video message and press release encouraging motorists to use greater caution when driving near school buses and bus stops.

National accident statistics

In August 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report that examined school transportation-related accidents between 2006 and 2015. It found that:

  • There were 1,313 fatalities in accidents involving school transportation
  • 102 of those killed were school-age pedestrians struck down near their bus stops
  • 113 school bus riders were killed in crashes

Distracted driving has been identified as a primary source of school bus accidents. When motorists text, adjust their GPS, check their makeup, or eat or drink behind the wheel, it can cause enough of a distraction for tragedy to result.

Who is Responsible for school bus accidents?

If your child is injured on or around their school bus, then liability depends on the circumstances of the accident. For example:

  • If a driver is so busy reading a text that they don’t notice a school bus’s flashing lights and hit your child, then they can be held liable and you can seek compensation for medical bills and other losses from their insurer.
  • If the bus driver was negligent, then the school district can be held accountable. Although government entities are normally exempt from civil liability, exceptions are made when an employee causes an accident.
  • If defective brakes, tires, or another mechanism on the bus caused the accident, then the manufacturer may be sued in a product liability action.

Your children have the right to a safe ride to and from school. When another party is negligent and an accident or wrongful death results, a New York personal injury attorney can help you overcome any legal challenges and receive the damages your child needs to recover. If you have been injured, then contact the law office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. at 718-329-9500. Mr. Lutzky offers free in person initial consultations. Home or hospital visits are available in the event of a serious injury. Visit www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com/accidents to learn more.

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