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The 3 Different Types of School Bus Accidents

Each year, approximately 137 people are killed in school bus-related crashes, and hundreds more are injured.  Some years, however, tragedy strikes and those numbers skyrocket.  In November, five children were killed and another 30 injured in a school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  There were no other vehicles involved in that crash, and the bus driver was a 24-year-old male who was thought to be speeding before the bus flipped over and struck a tree.

Children have a right to be safe on our nation’s buses, but they aren’t the only ones who are in danger from school bus accidents.  In fact, of all school bus-related fatalities, the safest place to be is actually on the bus.  Between 2001-2010, deaths occurring from school bus accidents affected 72% of the occupants of other vehicles, 7% of school bus occupants, and the remainder pedestrians or cyclists.

Here are the three different types of school bus accidents that are causing injury, death, and property damage in increasing numbers.

1. School Bus Accidents Involving Other Motor Vehicles

Nearly three-fourths of all school bus accident fatalities involve other motor vehicles. A school bus is a large truck when matched up against your average family car, so it’s no surprise that some extensive injuries occur when the two become involved in an accident.

Morning and afternoon commutes are also the time of day that school buses are on the road and commuters who are running late or distracted may not have the patience and attention required to deal with out-of-the-ordinary conditions.  What is normally a 45-mph zone is now a 15 or a bus in the lead might be making frequent stops to pick up children.

Drivers aren’t always at fault in these accidents as school bus drivers can be reckless as well.  Injuries such as whiplash, broken bones, fractures, and even death can occur.

2. Pedestrian Accidents Involving a School Bus

About once a month in the U.S., a pedestrian or cyclist will be struck and killed by a moving school bus.  Those who aren’t killed might suffer from devastating injuries that range from broken bones to paralysis.  When schools are in session, adhering to the rules of the road, whether in a vehicle or not, is more important than ever.

Sometimes crossing guards stop traffic at the drop of a dime and the streets quickly fill up with pedestrians.  A school bus driver who isn’t paying attention or who rolls through a stop sign could easily hit a pedestrian or cyclist, particularly with the limited visibility that a large bus provides. 

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a pedestrian accident involving a school bus, you could have a personal injury or even a wrongful death claim.

3. School Bus Accidents Involving Bus Occupants

More than 23 million children in the U.S. ride a school bus each day, and one study found that as many as 17,000 injuries occur on those buses annually.  While most injuries are minor scrapes and bruises that happen while getting on and off the bus or roughhousing,  approximately 42% are the result of a bus accident.

Nearly half of all injuries occurred in children 11 to 14 years old, and the most common injures were sprains, strains, abrasions, and head injuries.  About 7% of all school bus injuries result in the death of children on board.

If you or your child have been involved in one of these tragic accidents, you may have a claim for personal injury, wrongful death, or even worker’s compensation.

While many school bus accidents are unavoidable, there are always ways to protect yourself and your family from tragic events.  Never drive while distracted, know the rules of the road in your state, and always keep a safe distance from school buses on the road.  If you or someone you love is involved in an accident with a school bus, contact one of our Mississippi Accident Attorneys to help you in your time of need.  Contact the Gardner Law Firm at (228) 436-6555.

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