Assisting Children and Individuals Injured in School Bus Accidents
School buses have long been considered the safest mode of transportation for school children. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children are about seven times safer riding in a school bus than in your car when traveling to and from school. Despite the historical safety of school buses, several high-profile crashes occurring in recent years serve as a reminder than bus crashes can and do occur, and serious injuries may result in children, bus drivers, and passengers in the vehicles surrounding the school bus when a school bus crashes. Additionally, children loading and unloading from school buses are considered to be at greater risk of injury than bus occupants.
Prevent School Bus Accidents
There are several steps you can take to protect your child from being injured by a school bus and avoid becoming involved in a bus accident while driving. Observe the following:
- Do not walk behind a bus: School buses are large vehicles with blind spots in the back and sides. Never walk behind a bus and teach children this important safety rule.
- Do not cross in front of the bus until you are sure the driver sees you: If your child must cross the street after disembarking off the bus, teach him or her to make eye contact with the bus driver and wait for the driver’s go ahead before crossing in front of the bus.
- Teach children to stay seated: When riding on the school bus, children should remain in their seats at all times and look forward. If your child’s bus is equipped with seat belts, your child should utilize it.
- Do not pass a stopped school bus: In Illinois, all lanes of traffic must stop when a school bus stops and displays its flashing lights and stop sign arm. Failure to stop could result in a citation, but more seriously it places school children at serious risk of injury.
- Secure your child’s backpack straps and drawstrings: Some children are injured when their backpack straps or drawstrings on sweatshirts, pants, and the like become stuck in the doors of the school bus. Children can be dragged and critically injured. To prevent a dragging accident, be sure to secure any loose straps that could become trapped in the school bus door.
Liability for school bus related accidents will depend on numerous factors. School bus drivers or school districts can be held financially accountable for injuries that result due to the negligence of the school bus driver.
If you your child is injured in a school bus accident or if you are hit by a negligent bus driver, contact the Chicago School Bus Accident Attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC. Our skilled Illinois personal injury attorneys and have achieved over 40 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation at (312) 422-0500 or by filling out a free contact form online.