School bus accidents become more pronounced this time of year with kids and adults going back to school. From September to December the roads are filled with buses carrying loads of children and adults to class. It’s a time of year when everyone needs to pay just a bit more attention on the road: the school bus drivers who face a multitude of distractions, the children on the buses who need to mind the directions of the bus drivers, and those on the road who encounter school buses on daily commutes.
Drivers are cautioned to pay more attention when school buses are around, as we never know if the child will go in front of the school bus, behind the school bus, or dart in the middle of the road at any time. Even though the bus driver uses his flag to warn cars behind and in front of the stop, we should never assume the child will follow those directions. Here are some keys to staying safe:
- If you have a child who rides a school bus, be sure he or she is visible. Have your child wear clothing that is easily seen.
- Having patience when you encounter a school bus will be safer for all involved. Don’t rush the accelerator the second the bus driver flag is removed.
- Don’t use this time to make phone calls; stay alert when school bus and children are involved.
- While it’s often the responsibility of the school bus driver to make sure the children cross the road or are in a safe zone before engaging the bus again, be sure you spot the children before you start moving your vehicle. If you cannot see the child, consider that a red flag.
- Be on the watch for parents and others who might be waiting or the child, and those who might not be paying attention to road signals.
Accidents and fatalities involving school buses, children and pedestrians are never pleasant, but there are many things that can be done to ensure the safety of all involved. If your child or the child of someone you know has been injured or died as a result of a school bus accident, taking matters into your own hands is the wrong course of action. Deadlines with municipalities and agencies mean much time spent for all. Enlist the advice of a personal injury attorney to help you settle quickly and effectively.