It’s hard to imagine an image more terrifying to parents. On March 24th, 2015, a Pennsylvania school bus carrying nine children plowed into a home, the front of the bus destroying a wall, the nose of the bus not even visible in the pictures shown on the evening news. Horrified parents rushed to the scene, hoping their children were okay.
School bus accidents remain distressingly common. In fact, in just the few days before the Pennsylvania incident there were many more, including:
- A March 25th accident in Greenville, South Carolina where a school bus was struck by a truck
- An accident involving 30 students in Arlington, Texas, on March 25th
- A March 24th accident in Virginia that left a 12 year old child with a fractured skull
The size and weight of a school bus is supposed to diminish the impact children are subject to in an accident, but the size can actually make accidents more dangerous. If the bus flips, or if the bus is struck by another large vehicle, the amount of force generated is substantial. And children are frequently less protected in buses than in cars and trucks, because there are different seatbelt and other safety requirements.
School districts have shown little interest in protecting the safety of students, and there are not national guidelines for bus safety that fully address issues such as seatbelts and driver safety. Until there are, parents are taking a risk every time they let their child ride the bus.
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, it is important that you don’t blame yourself. Riding the bus is a rite of passage for many children, and we don’t want to be over-protective. The duty of securing the bus falls to the school district, and they are the ones who were negligent. Please contact an attorney who can help you take the proper steps to address this negligence, and help prevent another parent’s child from being injured.