Millions of parents send their children off to school on a school bus in the United States. The last thing any parent expects is for their child to be in an accident either to or from school. While school buses are typically very safe, accidents can happen. Take comfort that school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the roadways in the United States according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

However, while 23.5 million children take a school bus to school every single day, over 17,000 children suffer injuries and need to go to the emergency room due to school bus accidents every year. If your child has suffered any injuries related to a school bus, here are five things you need to know.

1. School Bus Vehicle Safety

According to the American School Bus Council, 25 million children are transported by big yellow school buses every day. Drivers are required to carry an “S” endorsement on a Commercial Drivers Licence (CDL) and safety is built into the very design of the bus. While they typically do not have seat belts, they have been engineered to distribute force differently and “compartmentalize” and protect children in the event of a crash. Study after study shows that school buses are extremely safe for children, and even safer than traditional passenger vehicles.

2. Bus Stop Safety

One-fourth of all injuries related to a school bus happen upon entering or exiting, according to the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice. The following safety tips can help your child be safe and protected when either waiting for a school bus or exiting one.

  • Arrive Early.
  • Keep Your Distance.
  • Minimize Play.
  • Line Up Facing the School Bus.
  • Do Not Approach Until the School Bus Stops.
  • Use Handrails.

3. Pedestrian Safety

17% of all deaths related to school buses happen to pedestrians, according to the National Safety Council. These following steps will decrease your chances of being in an accident as a pedestrian around or near a school bus.

  • Always walk on the sidewalk or on the side of the street far away from the school bus if possible.
  • Confirm that the bus driver can see you and that you can see the bus driver.
  • Never walk behind the school bus.
  • Never cross the street behind the school bus.
  • Never allow a child to pick something up if they drop it near a bus.

4. Rider safety  

While school buses are created and engineered to keep children as safe, children need to act and behave appropriately as passengers. Disruptive behavior, walking from seat to seat, or standing up, causes a distraction for the bus driver, and can also cause injuries to a child.

5. Motorist Safety

The largest amount of deaths related to school buses are actually drivers and passengers of other vehicles on the roadway. The National Safety Council states that approximately 70% of the deaths related to school bus accidents are in other vehicles. Remember to always give school buses the right of way, and try to be as safe as possible when driving around school buses.

Let Us Help You Today

If you as a motorist, or your child as a passenger, were injured in a school bus accident, you could have the right to compensation and a legal claim under either personal injury, workers’ compensation, property damage, or possibly wrongful death.  The law related to school bus accidents is complex. Contact the bus accident attorneys, serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton and Pittston,  at the O’Donnell Law Offices today to help you understand your rights, and what type of legal claim you may have.


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