Many of us think that using a bus to take our children to school or on a school trip is the safest form of transport. We don’t worry that a negligent driver on one of our busy highways might cause an accident and injury because s/he has fallen asleep or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The assumption is that bus drivers are well trained, only work set hours and act in a responsible way when ferrying our children around our state or country.
Recent data from The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that bus accidents only accounted for 0.06% of transport-related deaths while car accidents involving passengers accounted for nearly 40% of all vehicles on our roads. This sort of data most definitely favours our children using the school bus to get to school rather than using their busy parents who might not always have their full attention on rush hour traffic.
Who controls school buses?
Not all school buses are operated by state or municipal authorities. These will mainly be used to transport our children from their neighborhood to their local schools and colleges where the distance and time involved offers very little risk to the passengers. Other buses operated by private companies might be chartered for school outings for a day or even up to a week. There are regulations in place that determine licensing of drivers, hours of driving permitted each day and length of rest breaks. However, companies wishing to make sizeable profits often overlook the credentials of some of their drivers in the hope that they can pay a cheaper rate. The drivers keep quiet, as they want to maximise their take home pay as well.
This lethal combination could mean that our children, when out on a school outing for a day or a week, might not be in such safe hands as we might have thought. At any time and at any place, an accident is just waiting to happen. If it does then an attorney will be required to fight for a just compensation claim for injuries to victims that were not their fault.
Accidents involving a school bus could be due to:
- Insufficient safety measures e.g seat belts
- Dangerous roadways
- Faulty equipment
- Road rules and regulations not followed
- Poor bus maintenance
- Driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driver negligence
- Poorly trained drivers
- Weather conditions
School bus crash in Georgia was a “chain reaction”.
In May this year, 200 middle school students were involved in a six bus pile up in Georgia on the Georgia Highway when the buses slowed down due to a lane closure. A chain reaction was apparent as each bus ploughed into the back of the one in front. The result was one of the drivers was seriously injured and 50 students had to be treated at local medical centres.
If you have a child who has been injured in a school bus accident then you should be contacting a bus accident lawyer to find out if you qualify for a compensation payment. Often when a child is hurt time has to be taken off school to recover, which puts a great deal of stress on the family especially if parents are out at work and a carer has to be found. All this puts strain on already tight finances so visiting a lawyer and putting in a claim for compensation will relieve this burden.