CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS CHILD INJURY RIDING SCHOOL BUS
Each Minnesota car accident lawyer in our office handles cases every year regarding an injured child. Usually our cases involve a child riding in a car who suffers an injury in a car accident, but we also sometimes see cases where a child is injured on a school bus. Most drivers are careful to avoid a car accident with a school bus or a child getting on or off of the bus or crossing the street after getting off of the bus. But there still can be a car accident with a child who got off a school bus, or with the bus itself while the child was riding on a school bus. Here is a recent article a car accident lawyer saw from the Minnesota State Patrol about school bus accidents and safety:
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
The Safest Mode of Transportation for Children
In Minnesota, school buses make at least 10,000 school bus trips daily. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for children — children are eight times safer riding in a bus to school than any other vehicles.
In the past five years (2011 – 2015), there were 3,396 school bus crashes in Minnesota, resulting in 13 deaths.
Students can do their part in helping the bus driver focus on the road and help keep themselves safe outside and inside the school bus.
Danger in the “Danger Zone”
More children are killed outside of a school bus than they are as bus occupants. Motorists must anticipate children in a school bus “danger zone” — the area around a bus where most injuries and deaths occur.
School Bus Safety Tips for Children
When waiting for the bus: Be patient, stand back from road and no running or rowdy behavior.
When on the bus: stay seated, listen to the driver and use quiet voices.
It’s important for parents to discuss and demonstrate pedestrian safety with their children and reinforce safe crossing after exiting a bus:
- When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road).
- Before crossing the street, take five “giant steps” out from the front of the bus, or until the driver’s face can be seen.
- Wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.
- Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing.
School Bus Safety Tips for Motorists
- Every car must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and/or its stop arm is extended when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
- Red flashing lights on buses indicates students are either entering or exiting the bus.
- Cars are not required to stop for a bus if the bus is on the opposite side of a separated roadway (median, etc.) — but they should remain alert for children.
- Altering a route or schedule to avoid a bus is one way motorists can help improve safety. In doing so, drivers won’t find themselves behind a bus and as a result, potentially putting children at risk.
- Watch for school crossing patrols and pedestrians. Reduce speeds in and around school zones.
- Watch and stop for pedestrians — the law applies to all street corners, for both marked and unmarked crosswalks (all street corners) — every corner is a crosswalk.
Why Don’t School Buses Have Seat Belts?
- School buses are larger and heavier, which means that the mass and weight of the bus is designed to take the bulk of the crash force. They are also far less likely to rollover in a crash.
- School buses must be federally regulated to provide for compartmentalization. Compartmentalization means that the interior of large school buses must provide occupant protection so that children are protected without the need to buckle up. This is done through strong, closely spaced seats, energy absorbing foam seat backs, and a 24-inch seat height. Visualize this by thinking how an egg carton protects the eggs.
- The chassis of the school bus is designed to separate from the body of the bus in a crash to slow down and spread the crash forces over the entire body of the bus.
SCHOOL BUS ACCIDENT LAWYERS MN
If your child is injured on a school bus because of an accident with a car, or your child is injured by a car after getting off of a school bus, call us and speak with a top MN attorney for a free consultation. Our best lawyers have more than 25 years’ experience successfully representing children injured in a car accident or school bus accident throughout Minnesota. We will advise you of your child’s rights after the injury and make sure your child gets the compensation he or she is entitled to.