Keeping Texas School Buses Safe
Many, many children in Texas rely on school buses to take them to and from school each school day. Transporting these kids back and forth is obviously a significant responsibility. The sheer number of school buses on the road, however, means that accidents do happen. Because our Texas school buses are transporting precious cargo, it is essential that every driver makes keeping school buses safer a priority.
While school buses are statistically the safest means of traveling to and from school, accidents do happen. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reposts that, in the years from 2004 through 2012, there were 174 school bus fatalities in the United States. Most of the accident victims were on foot at the time. Each year, an average of 19 children are killed in school bus accidents, and nearly half of these children are between the ages of 5 and 7.
School Bus Accidents
School bus accidents – much like other traffic accidents – can be caused by a number of different factors:
A distracted, impaired, or otherwise negligent bus driver
A poorly maintained school bus
A malfunctioning school bus
A school bus with a design flaw or a manufacturing defect
Additionally, school buses are less likely to have passenger protective devices like seatbelts, which can exacerbate the severity of an accident.
Help Keep Schoolchildren Safe
It is every driver’s responsibility to help keep schoolchildren safe on the road, and the National Safety Council provides several helpful tips for doing so:
When you share the roadway with a school bus, slow down and pay attention.
Allow plenty of room for pedestrians in crosswalks – stopping in the crosswalk forces pedestrians, including children, to go around you and to, therefore, be closer to moving traffic.
When flashers are blinking in a school zone, stop and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk or intersection.
Pay careful attention to and obey school patrol officers and crossing guards.
Be on the lookout for children in school zones, near parks and playgrounds, and in residential neighborhoods.
Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
When it comes to school buses, the National Safety Council shares specific requirements:
Allow yourself more following distance for a school bus than you would for a car. This provides you with more stopping time once the bus puts on its flashing yellow lights.
Remember that it is illegal in every state to pass a school bus that is dropping off or picking up students. If the lights are flashing and the stop arm is down, you must stop (regardless of the direction you are traveling in).
The ten feet surrounding school buses are the most dangerous for children, so allow plenty of stopping distance.
If Your Child Has Been Injured in a School Bus Accident, You Need an Experienced Central Texas Personal Injury Attorney
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas is here to help. Mr. Pritchard has the experience, dedication, and compassion to fight for the best possible resolution of your child’s claim. For more information, please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.