Bus accidents are always dangerous. School buses are often held to lower safety standards than other passenger vehicles, relying on superior mass to dissipate the force of accidents. This is often successful at lower speeds, as a small car hitting a bus will inflict massively more damage on the smaller vehicle than the larger. But at higher speeds, there is too much force for even a large school bus to absorb it safely.
A December 5th, 2018 accident on the Long Island Expressway underscores this danger. Six children were injured after an accident between a school bus and a BMW. The BMW missed an exit and made an unsafe turn, which the school bus driver was unable to account for due to the higher speed limits of the expressway.
It would be safer for school buses transporting students to stay on lower speed limit thoroughfares, but this is not a reasonable option unless parents and kids are willing to be picked up before dawn and returned after dark. Even using the expressways, many students spend hours on buses, missing out on valuable time that could be spent on homework or with family.
In this case, it appears the school bus driver behaved appropriately, though it could take a more extensive investigation to determine whether or not speed limits were being followed and to make sure the driver was not distracted. Parents should always push for investigations in these situations, as relying on initial reports rarely reveals the whole story of an incident.
If your child has been injured in a school accident, gaining a full understanding of the safety measures employed by the school district can be difficult. It is important to recognize that a variety of factors can come into play with these accidents, including deferred maintenance or poor driver training. Please consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case.