There is some degree of danger every time we let our child ride in a vehicle, be it our own car or a friend’s. There is always the chance that an accident can occur, and we do our best to make sure that the rules of the road are being followed. We teach our children to wear seatbelts and not to distract the driver. We do not let those we consider untrustworthy to drive our children anywhere.
This inherent danger is amplified when children ride on buses. Buses frequently do not offer seatbelts, and often rely on the size of the vehicle to protect the passengers if there is an accident. But sometimes the accident does not involve getting hit by another vehicle; in those instances the size of the bus doesn’t matter. Sometimes something goes wrong with the bus itself.
A story out of Utah has drawn attention to just how vulnerable our children are in a situation like this. A first grader was riding home on the bus from school when hot steam and liquid was ejected from vents when a coolant hose ruptured. The scalding steam burned her leg from the knee down. The driver continued driving without offering the child help, and the mother of the child was forced to take her daughter to the emergency room.
There is not much you can do to prevent an accident like this from occurring. What you can do is follow up to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and to make sure those who messed up are held accountable by taking the following actions:
- request proof that the vehicle was properly inspected every 3,000 miles;
- request information on any other incidents regarding the bus or driver;
- force change at the school or district level to address safety concerns.
Don’t let the school off the hook too easily: make sure any issues of negligence are forced out in the open. It can be difficult, if not impossible, for one person alone to get the necessary changes made. The administrators at the district level are often strongly entrenched, and will ignore any calls for change, no matter how reasonable. If you or your loved one has been injured in an bus accident, contact an experienced lawyer to help you ask the right questions to get the right outcome.