According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 18 school-age children die in school transportation-related crashes each year. In 2010 specifically, there were 129 fatalities in school transportation-related crashes. To give this number even more perspective from 2001 to 2010 there 1,236 fatal school transportation-related crashes. Even one child’s death is one too many.
Common causes of school bus accidents include fatigued bus drivers, drivers operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, improperly trained drivers, failure to follow traffic laws, overloaded buses, poor bus maintenance and more.
In July 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made a recommendation in response to fatal school bus accidents that took place in Florida and in New Jersey, which included mandatory seatbelts. Those accidents took place at intersections and their buses were equipped with lap seatbelts. Today only six states (California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas) require seatbelts on buses and most are required on new buses not retrofitting existing buses.
The NTSB also recommended that the government set performance standards for new safety technology in vehicles that lets them talk to each other to prevent accidents and also require them in all new vehicles. In addition they recommend training for drivers, students, educators, and parents to teach them the proper use of the belts and to stress the importance of compliance.
Some recent and tragic accidents or reckless incidents involving schools buses include:
There can more than one liable party in a school bus accident. They can include the bus driver, the owner of the bus (whether public or private), the bus maintenance company, the bus manufacturer, the municipality where the accident occurred and the other driver or negligent third party.
If you or a loved one has been in injured or killed in a school bus accident you have the right to pursue a civil law suit. Contact the school bus accident lawyers of Farmer, Jaffe Weissing today.