Parents do their best to protect their children in every way possible. Despite the fact that they go to great lengths to ensure that children are protected while on their way to school, school buses are often involved in accidents, which are usually the fault of the other driver.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA), a study on school-transportation related crashes from 2004 to 2013 found that a total of 1,344 people were killed – 327 of whom were of school-age, 18 years old or younger.
Surprisingly, more than 67 percent of school-age pedestrians were fatally injured in crashes due to being struck by school buses or other vehicles functioning as school buses. This occurred more from 7 to 8 am and 3 to 4 pm than any other hours of the day. Fifty-three percent occurred in the front of these vehicles.
Preventing School Bus Accidents
While these statistics are disheartening, there are certain things that can be done to help prevent these accidents. These include:
- Allow a lot of distance between the back of the bus and your vehicle to account for stopping time.
- Avoid passing a bus with yellow or red flashing lights and an extended arm, as this is a sign that the bus is about to load or unload children. Further, passing a bus in this manner is illegal.
- Avoid passing a bus from behind if you are on an undivided road.
- Allow 10 feet of room around all sides of the school bus.
- Remain alert at all times.
Young Pedestrians Most at Risk
According to research conducted by the National Safety Council (NSC), most children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years of age, when they are traveling on foot and are hit by the bus or passing motorists.
Additional things that can be done by drivers to prevent this from occurring include:
- Do not block crosswalks when stopped at a light.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or intersections.
- Stop for any school patrol officer holding a stop sign.
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- Pay extra attention and take more care when moving through school zones, parks, and residential areas.
- Never honk or try to scare pedestrians, even if you are the one with the right of way.
Consequences of Failing to Stop
Those who do not stop for school buses can be fined. A fine for the first offense is between $115 and $230, as well as 30 to 60 days in prison. If you are convicted, your driver’s license can also be suspended for up to 12 months.
For subsequent offenses within three years of the first one, this jumps to $575 and up to six months in prison.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Those Injured in Car Accidents with Buses
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, whether or not a bus was involved, it is important that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. The Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC help our clients to get what they deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 312-888-1221 today. From our Wilmington office we serve clients throughout Delaware, including Dover, Newark, and Middletown. We also serve clients in Philadelphia, Chester County, Delaware County, and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.