What Causes Bus Accidents by:Mark Dacanay
School bus accidents are more tragic than other road accidents because it involves children.
School buses are one of the biggest mass transportation in the United States. School bus accidents account for around 6,000 injuries and about 20 deaths every year. Of those 20 deaths, approximately 15 are children. Because of the size of the bus they are riding, school bus accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and even death.
Every year, about 24 million students ride the school bus and there are about 500,000 school buses roaming the streets of the United States. Although school bus accidents are not as common as other vehicular accidents, it is still a big possibility.
School bus accidents can happen while children are boarding or exiting the bus or while they are riding the bus.
School bus accidents while children are boarding/exiting the bus
School buses make a lot of stops to allow passengers to board or exit the bus. As a result of these frequent stops, it also exposes the school bus to a lot more dangers.
Here are some of the problems encountered while school bus is on a stop:
Miscalculation of the driver - The school bus driver has a lot of blind sides because of the sheer size of the bus. If the driver miscalculates the distance while he/she is pulling up, he/she may hit someone too close to the curb or someone from the behind.
Other Drivers' actions - Even if the school bus driver is careful when pulling up on a stop, other drivers may not be gracious enough to give the school bus its right of way and hit it while it is making a stop. That can result to injuries or even death to both the passengers and those that are about to board or exit the bus
School bus accidents while children are riding the bus
A lot of school buses are not equipped with safety belts and use the concept of compartmentalization. This refers to the structure where the children are surrounded in a compartment of pads and reinforced seat. Unfortunately, this is only effective if the child is placed securely on the seat and knowing how children behave, that is often not the case. In addition, although it is effective for frontal collisions, it gives little protection to lateral impacts or side collisions.
As previously mentioned, the size of a school bus creates a lot of blind spots for the driver and if he/she is inattentive this may cause him to not see an approaching vehicle.
Although it is easy to blame the driver, we should also remember that he/she is also trying to manage the children while driving, which in turn decreases his/her focus on the road.
Most common causes of school bus accidents
Here is a list of the most common causes of school bus accidents that may be considered as a neglectful action:
Driver's lack of training
Unmaintained or poorly maintained school bus
Fatigue or sleepiness
Other driver's failure to yield the right of way for school buses
Aggressive driving by the school bus driver
Defective or lack of safety equipments such as reflectors and warning devices.
If your child was hurt because of a school bus accident, consult a personal injury attorney to help you find who is liable for the accident.
About the author
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