School Bus Safety Tips as Florida Children Head Back to Class
As the summer draws to a close and children throughout Florida get ready for the start of school, the time is right for parents to remind kids about school bus safety. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that there were 1,147 school-transportation-related crashes from 2007 to 2016. There were almost 1,300 fatalities in these incidents, putting the average number of school bus deaths per year at 128.
While you should rely on a Florida personal injury attorney if your child was hurt, you can do your part to prevent injuries by stressing a few points about safety around school buses. It’s also important to note a few special considerations regarding school bus accidents.
Important Factors Regarding School Bus Accidents: In reporting on the statistics regarding school-related vehicle collisions, the NHTSA noted one important detail: Despite the figures on accidents, a school bus is still the safest way to get your child to and from school. Children are up to 70 times safer when traveling by school bus than by your own car, due to their enhanced features, such as:
- A high profile and bright coloring mean buses are very visible to other drivers;
- Buses are equipped with flashing red lights and stop-sign arms to alert other motorists to the presence of children;
- Regulations require bus manufacturers to install protective seating; and,
- Buses must be able to withstand higher impact and rollover prevention.
Common Causes of School Bus Accidents: While the details may vary, there are certain factors that tend to contribute to school bus collisions. Generally, negligence of the bus operator or another motorist is the root cause. In the practice of law, negligence is the failure to comply with the duty to exercise reasonable caution while behind the wheel of a vehicle. More specific examples of driver negligence include:
- Failure to yield to children getting on or off the bus;
- Other violations of traffic laws;
- Insufficient bus operator training or licensing; and,
- Neglect in supervising children.
School Bus Safety Tips: Another special factor noted by the NHTSA is that most casualties involving children occur as they’re approaching or leaving the bus – NOT while riding. With this in mind, some key safety tips are:
- Never run around a school bus. Walk carefully, watching for other vehicles.
- Always obey instructions of the bus driver, school officials, crossing guards.
- Don’t approach the bus until it has come to a complete stop.
- Make sure to use sidewalks and crosswalks when getting on or off the bus.
- Avoid games or horseplay at the bus stop.
Discuss School Bus Accident Injuries with a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
These safety tips can reduce the potential risks of school bus accidents, but these incidents still occur with alarming frequency. You do have rights if your child was injured, so please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to learn more about them. We can set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers to explain how these claims work and provide additional information on your legal options.