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Safety Tips for School Buses

By Karnas Law Firm |

More than 20 million American children ride a bus to school, so it isn’t a surprise that so many of them end up injured. Indeed, according to the National Safety Council, 108 people died in a school bus accident. At Karnas Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers speak with many parents about their children’s injuries. We can help you seek compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. But, ideally, we will all reduce the number of accidents that occur in the first place. Below, our personal injury lawyer highlights important safety tips for drivers and parents of young children.

Tips for Drivers

Motorists play a huge role in school bus safety. Those drivers who fail to follow the law can end up striking a school bus or even a child who is getting on or off. It is important to follow these rules:

  • Never pass a bus with its lights flashing. Yellow lights mean that the bus is about to stop. Red flashing lights signal the bus has stopped. You should slow down as soon as you see the yellow lights come on and absolutely stop when the red lights begin flashing.
  • Don’t start driving until the bus is in motion. Some drivers are too quick to hit the gas when they think all the children are off. Wait for the driver to withdraw the stop arm and actually start the bus in motion.
  • Watch for children on the sidewalk. Some children might dart into the road, especially if they get off on the side of the road that is opposite of where they want to go.
  • Be prepared to hit the brakes suddenly. Defensive driving skills are a premium. Also, you should not be distracted around a school bus or in a school zone, so put the phone away.

These tips are for your safety as much as for the children. Indeed, about 70% of those killed in bus collisions are passengers of other vehicles.

Tips for Students & Families

Unfortunately, children sometimes contribute to an accident by not boarding or exiting a bus properly. Although we hesitate to blame the victim, the fact is that parents have a role to play in child safety.

Here are some tips to share with your child:

  • Don’t stand too close to the curb while waiting. A child could fall into traffic or get pushed by someone else into harm’s way. Instead, stand six feet or more away from the curb.
  • Walk out to the bus only when it comes to a complete stop. That way you know the bus will not be in motion. The driver should also signal to the children when it is safe to board.
  • Step carefully. Rainwater could collect on the steps, and a child might slip and fall, hurting their neck and face. Children might also push from behind, which can lead to falls.
  • Sit in the seat. No child should be moving around between seats while the bus is in motion. That’s a good way to get injured or possibly distract the driver, which could result in a collision.
  • Cross the street in front of the bus. Historically, many accidents have occurred when children cross the street. Either the bus driver isn’t watching or another motorist plows into your child. A child should cross the street at least 10 feet in front of the bus, preferably at a crosswalk.
  • Never dart under the bus to retrieve something. Children sometimes drop a phone or ball, which ends up under the bus. Never crawl under the bus to retrieve the item, because the driver could drive over the child.

What to Do if Your Child is Injured

Please call our law firm. You might be entitled to compensation for your child’s injuries. For example, a negligent driver might have struck the bus or your child. Some bus drivers start driving when children are still climbing the stairs to get on or off. It’s possible to sue a school district in Arizona, but you’d benefit from our experience.

We might also sue another motorist on the road, especially if they pass the bus illegally or refuse to stop for your child in the crosswalk.

Call Us Today

Although children cannot settle their own cases, there is a process for parents to bring these claims. Karnas Law Firm has helped many parents with injured children. Your child probably suffered terrible injuries in a collision, and we can seek the compensation you need for things like medical bills and pain and suffering.