Millions of children ride school buses to and from school each day and parents rely on these buses to transport their children safely. Unfortunately, bus-related accidents occur. The greatest risk to your child, however, isn’t riding the bus, but boarding and debarking one. Tucson bus accident attorneys remind you to teach your child school bus safety rules before the new school year starts.
How Accidents Occur
Between 2003 and 2012, a total of 119 school-age pedestrians died in school-transportation related accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While Arizona school bus accidents are the result of numerous causes, nearly 75% of children seriously injured or killed are struck while boarding or exiting the bus. According to the NHTSA, 65% of the 119 child pedestrian deaths from 2003-2012 were struck by the school bus itself, with another 5% struck by a vehicle serving as a school bus and the final 30% struck by other vehicles.
Part of these accidents is due to poorly trained or inexperienced bus operators or inattentive driving by the bus driver or other drivers in the vicinity while children are loading or unloading. Also, school bus drivers have a blind spot, which extends about 10 feet around the entire bus, which often plays a part in accidents.
Children are sometimes also struck while waiting for a bus at poorly placed bus stops that aren’t readily visible to motorists or while crossing streets in areas that lack school crossing guards or clearly marked crosswalks.
Safety Tips for Drivers, Kids and Parents
To help keep bus-related child pedestrian accidents to a minimum, everyone should follow safe practices, including kids, parents and drivers. It starts with the parents, who should talk with their children about bus safety and ensure they know how to stay safe in and around school buses.
- Be at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus arrives.
- Stand three big steps, about six feet, away from the bus at all times.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- Walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus and make eye contact with the driver first.
- Never try to retrieve a dropped item near the bus.
- Always use designated crosswalks when available.
- Pay attention to all traffic, because drivers may not be paying attention to you.
Drivers must understand that children may not be paying attention as they should and it’s your job to actively watch out for them. You should always:
- Pay extra attention in school zones.
- Slow down and watch for children crossing the street.
- Be prepared for children who might dart into the street.
- Stay alert at all times; don’t let your phone or other things distract you.
- Obey all school bus laws, especially those concerning bus lights.
- Stop when lights are flashing red and prepare to stop when lights are flashing yellow.
- Wait for lights to stop flashing and all children are well away from the roadway before continuing down the road.
Hire Top Tucson Bus Accident Attorneys
If your child is injured in a bus-related accident, call the Tucson bus accident attorneys at Lerner & Rowe at 520-977-1900. Our office hours are 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, but we’re available 24/7 to take your call, or use our convenient Live Chat online to get the representation you need.