As an Atlanta injury lawyer, I regularly hear from Georgia residents injured in accidents of all kinds. When a child has been injured, parents naturally have a heightened level of emotion and worry. Part of my job representing families of injured children, is to help lift whatever worries I can by handling the legal and medical aspects of what can be tragic situations.
In recent weeks, there have been many accidents around the country involving school buses and injuries to children. Relatively speaking, Georgia’s school buses are the safest way to get kids to school. In fact, Georgia students ride safely to and from school every day.
What can make our kids even safer? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has provided some great tips for kids and parents, but first a few words about the school bus accidents in the last few weeks.
Last week in rural Pennsylvania, a tractor-trailer and a school bus collided, resulting in the truck driver’s death and injuries to 21 school bus passengers that included both students and adults. The injured were mostly students, but some adults were also injured. Early reports were that some injuries were critical. The cause of the accident was reported to be the truck’s crossing over into oncoming lanes on a two lane rural highway. In aerial photos, the bus was intact and ended up perpendicular to the truck.
Another rural accident occurred Missouri. Eleven students were hospitalized when the bus they traveling in actually slid off the rural road into a ditch. It was thought the accident occurred after the driver becoming distracted by a student.
Tragically in Indianapolis, Indiana, a school bus driver was killed when the vehicle hit a railroad bridge. Injured passengers included a 5-year-old girl and two other students. Another school bus traveling with students in Washington overturned on a highway. Several serious injuries resulted. In that case, the bus also left the road, but rolled over after the driver tried to overcorrect the bus’ position on the road.
These accidents involved various circumstances that the passengers and even the drivers might not have been able to control. But where we do have control, we need to take it and make our kids safer.
All the school bus safety tips from NHTSA can be found by clicking here. In summary, kids need to know about the danger zone around school buses. That is the 10 feet all around the bus. Kids need to wait until the bus driver says it is safe to get on the bus, get on one at a time and when leaving the bus they should walk 10 giant steps away from the bus. They need to pay attention to what the driver says and sit in their seats facing forward after they get on the bus. If they drop something outside the bus they must make sure they tell the driver before trying to pick it up themselves.
Parents can help kids by walking with them to the school bus stop and staying there until they get on and off. They can also tell their kids to use the bus handrails while getting on and off the bus. Of course, all drivers must pay close attention to the speed limits in school zones and around school bus stops. Being alert to kids who might be playing or distracted when getting on and off buses.
If your child has been injured in a Georgia school bus or other accident, the Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle can help. As an Atlanta area injury law experts with decades of experience working with accident victims, we can help. Please contact us today for a confidential free consultation, either at our main Gwinnett County law office in Duluth, or at one of our convenient offices in Decatur, Buckhead or the Perimeter.