Protecting children from harm is a priority for all school districts in the U.S. No one wants to see any child suffer an injury or die, ever, let alone when getting on or off a school bus or involved in a school bus accident on the way to or home from school. Tragically, children will die in truck school bus accidents every year.
States’ laws and school bus regulations were designed to protect children when boarding and to disembark from a school bus. The flashing yellow on a school bus warns other motorists that the bus is about to stop. Once stopped, the red lights on the school bus activate, signaling to all that the bus doors will open, and children will be entering or exiting the bus. A reflective arm extends from the driver’s side of most school buses as well. These devices are in place to ensure the safety of children walking toward and away from the bus. Sometimes those safety measures are not enough.
School children, especially young children, are hard to see when they cross in front of the bus. Despite the extensive training school bus drivers receive and the thorough background checks employers perform on their school bus driver candidates, children could be injured or killed by an inattentive or careless bus driver who pulls away quickly from the curb before making sure that no children are in the “Danger Zone,” which is the ten-foot area around the bus.
Also, children face the dangers of motorists ignoring the bus’s warning signals and passing the school bus. Children come and go in all directions when the bus arrives at a stop. Inpatient and aggressive drivers may ignore the warning lights and stop lights on the bus and strike a child.
Multiple parties could be found to be liable for a school bus injury or wrongful death, depending on the nature of the accident. The school bus company, driver, school district, and, if applicable, other motorists could be responsible for paying damages to the child or the family of a child injured or killed in a school bus accident.
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