Whenever a school bus accident occurs, you hear about it in the news. The thought of a bus filled with children crashing is a frightening one. For this reason, it comes as a surprise to many people that school buses are actually safer than cars in the event of an accident.
School Buses Safer than Cars
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) says school buses are the safest mode of transportation for school children. School buses are designed for safety and, as a result, children are less likely to be hurt in a school bus accident than they are a car accident.
So, how are buses built for safety? The NHTSA describes several safety features:
- Stop sign arms to restrict passing traffic
- Reinforced sides
- Bright color to make them more visible
- Flashing red lights to call attention to them
- Crush standards, size, and height make them more durable
- Cross-view mirrors
- Well-trained drivers
Despite all of these things, there are additional steps children can take to even further increase their safety while riding a bus. These are tips that apply while waiting for the bus, riding on the bus, and getting off the bus.
- Stay on the sidewalk or grass while waiting for the bus
- Don’t push past other riders while getting on the bus
- Keep things out of the aisles
- Stay seated whenever the bus is in motion
- Be quiet enough that the driver can hear traffic noises
- Make sure the bus is completely stopped before trying to exit
- Always make certain drivers have stopped before crossing the street
- Make certain the bus driver sees you crossing
- Ask for help from the bus driver if you have any other safety concerns
The NHTSA (pdf) says students are 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely if they ride the bus rather than riding with a friend or family member. Twenty-three percent of student auto accident deaths occur when the child is being transported by an adult driver, while 58 percent involve a teen driver. Only 1% happen when a student is traveling by school bus.
In addition to transporting children safely, using the school bus keeps more cars off the road, saving money, reducing pollution, and increasing safety.
Riding a bus may be safer than riding in a car, but accidents can still happen.
Recently, a HISD school bus was involved in an accident on Highway 225. By all accounts, the accident was relatively minor, involving only one injury. Only two children were on the bus at 6:30 a.m. as it was headed to Reagan High School.
As in a car accident, when a bus accident happens the at-fault driver can be held responsible for the injuries that result. This means your child could be compensated for his or her injuries and medical costs after being hurt in a bus accident—whether it can be blamed on the bus driver or someone else. A qualified vehicle accident attorney can explain your legal rights.
Houston schools do their best to have only qualified drivers on their payroll, but no one is perfect. When an accident occurs, someone must be held accountable.
Houston Auto Accident Attorney
Whether you’ve been involved in a serious car accident or if your child’s been hurt in a bus crash, contact the Houston auto accident attorney Kevin Krist for help. Call 832-924-3181 today for a free consultation on your case.