When parents kiss their children goodbye in the morning as they leave to catch the school bus, the last thing they expect is for their safety to be put at risk. However, school bus accidents occur at an alarmingly high rate, causing many parents to rightfully reevaluate the method by which their students arrive at school.
What is considered a school bus-related accident?
When we think of a school bus, the big yellow, long-wheel base truck chassis with a diesel-engine and a red stop sign waving from the side comes to mind. However, a school bus-related crash, whether directly or indirectly, may involve any type of vehicle functioning as transportation for school children to and from school and school events. Configurations can include the standard type, cutaway van, integrated or transit school bus.
Causes of School Bus Accidents in Arizona
Sadly, many of the school bus accidents each year could have been prevented. The difficulty in attracting qualified drivers often leads to driver negligence in accidents. Numerous factors can lead to a school bus accident occurring, including:
- Driver fatigue
- A driver operating under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Excessive speeding
- Inadequately maintained bus
- Poor weather conditions
- Blind spots
- Inadequately trained drivers
- Defective roadways
- Improper placement of bus stops
How often do school bus-related accidents occur?
Data shows that school bus-related accidents send 17,000 children to the emergency room each year. While 42 percent of the accidents involve crashes, nearly one-fourth of the accidents are sustained while boarding or departing the bus. Also, general slip and fall accidents can happen when passengers get knocked around from sudden bus turns and quick stops.
School Bus Accident Injuries
Accidents can occur at any point while the school bus is en route to its destination. Most often, the victims of school bus accidents are innocent pedestrians on the roadways or children waiting at their stop who are hit by an out of control bus or car.
Generally, the sheer size and weight of a bus will typically keep injuries within the bus to a minimum. Due to the disparity in size and weight between a bus and a passenger automobile, if another vehicle is involved in the crash, injuries in the other vehicle are usually much more serious.
Injuries sustained due to a bus accident can be more devastating than those of typical vehicular accidents. This is due to many factors, including:
- Constant flow of children in and out of the bus
- Lack of seatbelts
- Failure to enforce the wearing of seatbelts when they exist
While some school bus accidents result in minor injuries, such as sprains or abrasions, personal injuries of a more catastrophic nature can occur, including:
- Spinal cord injury
- Psychological trauma
- Wrongful death
How could more school bus accidents be prevented?
The National Coalition for School Bus Safety (NCSBS) says the basic school bus design hasn’t changed since 1977 and it’s now time to add seat belts for our nation’s school children riding buses. However, opponents say that seat belts are not cost effective for school districts and smaller children could be harmed by restraints not suited for their tiny bodies.
Why You Need a Phoenix School Bus Accident Attorney
The laws and regulations surrounding bus accidents are complicated. Depending on if the school is a public or private institution, negligent parties can include school districts, the private school itself, or private bus companies. If manufacturer negligence resulted in the accident, bus manufacturers may be held accountable; or, if inadequate roadways contributed, local government negligence may be responsible.
In order to ensure you have the potential of receiving the compensation you are entitled to, you need a school bus accident attorney to sift through the details and determine what damages you may receive payment for.
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident in the Phoenix, Mesa, or Tucson, Arizona area, personal injury attorney Jerrold A. Mayro can accurately inform you of your rights and investigate your case to determine what compensation you are entitled to. Please contact the Arizona school bus accident office of The Mayro Law Firm today or call (602) 604-8400 to schedule your personal consultation.