Motorists Must Stop for School BusesPublished: Aug 28, 2019 in Auto Accident, Bus Accident, Personal Injury
Children as young as three years old ride school buses each day on their way to and from school. Parents put their trust in the school bus drivers, school systems, and state to provide safe and reliable transportation. The one aspect that parents cannot oversee is the behavior of other motorists on the road, particularly those who fail to stop or yield to school buses. When motorists ignore traffic laws and pass school buses that are loading and unloading, children are at high risk for serious injury and death.
School Bus Crash Statistics
A comprehensive study of school bus safety conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that an average of 128 people lose their lives each year in school bus related crashes. Between 2007 and 2016, close to 1300 children, school bus drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists died in traffic accidents involving school buses. Thirty-five percent of children fatally injured in school bus accidents were between eight and 13 years of age.
Even though these statistics are tragic, the NHTSA reports that children are 70 times more likely to arrive at school and again at home at the end of the school day safely when they are transported by a school bus. Federal and state laws are designed to protect children as they are transported to and from school, and significant fines and penalties are applied to those who fail to obey these laws.
Young children are difficult to see outside of the school bus and are particularly vulnerable when they are getting on and off the bus. The impulsive nature of children and their inattention to traffic can lead to catastrophic consequences when drivers fail to obey school bus laws.
On undivided roadways, traffic must come to a complete stop in both directions when a school bus is stopped with its yellow or red lights flashing. On divided roadways, drivers on the opposite side of the road from the bus are not obligated to stop but must slow down while passing the area where the bus is stopped. When a school bus is stopped along side of a school, drivers must slow down to 10 miles per hour as they pass.
School Bus Safety
Teaching children about school bus safety is imperative to their well-being. Parents should teach and continually remind their children how they can protect themselves by following these simple rules:
- Stand at least ten steps back from the curb at the bus stop.
- Do not attempt to get on the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the doors have been opened.
- Always walk in front of the bus where you can see the driver in the window – If you can’t see them, they can’t see you.
- Stop and look both ways before crossing the street, even when traffic is stopped.
- Securely fasten and tighten seatbelts on the bus.
- Remain seated at all times and use inside voices.
- Report any driver that uses their cell phone for talking or texting while operating the bus.
Edwardsville Car Wreck Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Victims of School Bus Accidents Claim Compensation
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the Edwardsville car wreck lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC at 618-277-3644, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Swansea, Illinois offices serve clients in Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.