With school already in session, or just about to resume, parents in Baton Rogue are concerned about the safety of their children while being transported to and from school in a bus. While school buses are designed to transport a large number of students in a safe manner, these vehicles are often not equipped with seatbelts. Additionally, in the event of a bus crash, passengers could be tossed around, causing serious and even fatal injuries.
How safe are school buses? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a school bus is one of the safest vehicles on the road, making it a safer option for children to travel to school in when compared to a car. Because the safety standards are beyond those for regular buses, the rate of fatalities for school buses is much lower when compared to other types of buses. This amounts to roughly four to six deaths of school-aged children each year. In other terms, this is less than one percent of all traffic fatalities occurring each year.
However, safety features built into a school bus do not protect passengers from a negligent bus driver. Even though school buses are equipped with flashing lights, a stop sign and an extended arm, this unfortunately cannot overcome distractions or a negligent bus driver who fails to comply with these safety laws. A student entering or exiting a bus could be seriously injured. Additionally, if a bus driver fails to uphold their duty to drive safely, this could result in a serious bus crash, harming the students riding in the bus.
No one wants to think about their child being involved in a bus crash; however, these collisions are possible despite the safety efforts made to protect their occupants. Therefore, victims of a bus crash, as well as their loved ones, should understand their rights and options. A personal injury claim could help address the losses and damages arising from the crash.
Source: NHTSA.gov, "School Buses," accessed on Aug. 13, 2017