With all the recent and tragic school bus accidents occurring throughout and near our area, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTBS) has recommended, for the first time, that all new school buses have both lap and shoulder seat belts going forward.
This news doesn’t come as a shock. School bus accidents have been seemingly occurring at an alarming rate in the past few weeks. Accidents have occurred in Stroudsburg; Perry County; Baltimore, MD; Chattanooga, TN; and Interstate-80 in New Jersey. That’s only a handful of the tragic school bus accidents that have occurred.
Luckily, the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli are here to educate concerned parents and loved ones about school bus safety in our latest blog.
School Bus Safety
According to the NTBS, 500,000 school buses carry more than 25 million students to and from school and school-related activities every day. School buses are one of the safest vehicles on the road. Your children are much safer in a school bus compared to any other type of vehicle. Why are they safer? Because they are designed that way.
School buses are equipped with a unique technology called compartmentalization. This technology is a passive occupant protection system which translates to school bus seating protecting students like an egg carton protecting eggs. The seats are engineered with energy-absorbing steel and supported with padding throughout the back of the seat. Even with these seats designed to protect students, the impact of an accident can still cause injuries.
The Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton school bus accident attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli have compiled a list of safety tips for both students and drivers to keep in mind even in the event no accident occurs:
Student Safety Tips
- Maintain a safe distance away from the curb or end of your driveway; at least six feet
- Wait until the bus completely stops before walking towards the bus
- Make sure the bus driver can see you and you can see him or her
- Use the bus’s handrail when boarding
- Wear seatbelts if available
- Stay in your seat (PA law prohibits students from standing)
- Wait for the bus to completely stop before getting out of your seat
- Stay away from rear wheels of the bus
Driver Safety Tips
- Be up-to-date on the state’s school bus laws
- Always do a pre-trip/post-trip inspection to check for mechanical defects that could jeopardize safety
- Don’t let students crowd aisles with items; it’s a fire hazard and against the law
- Be alert and cautious to other drivers and surroundings
- Follow the “Five Alive” Operation Life Saver steps when approaching a railroad track
This is not a complete list of steps for both students and school bus drivers to follow, but you should have an idea of what it takes to keep a school bus safe before an accident even occurs.
School Bus Accident Statistics
While safety is the goal, tragic accidents ultimately happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 324,710 fatal auto accident crashes between 2006 and 2015. Of those, 1,172 were classified as school transportation-related crashes; an average of 131 fatalities per year. Of those, 8 percent of those fatalities were children riding a school bus.
Fellerman & Ciarimboli Can Help
School bus accidents are extremely hard to litigate. You need to have the experience and the skill to successfully litigate these claims. At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, we’ve been fighting for the injured for decades. We understand the pain your loved ones are suffering, and we will not rest until you are compensated for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.