Common Issues with School Buses Leading to Injuries

David Monteleone
Illinois Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyer

  Posted  |  Category : School Bus Accidents

School Bus Accident AttorneyAccording to the statistics issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school-vehicle-related accidents take the lives of 134 people each year, while over 17,000 children sustain injuries from crashes involving school bus, bicyclists, cars, and others. For a parent, these are alarming statistics because they are related to the safety of their most precious asset – their children.

However, based on the ranking of the safest mode of transportation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses top the list when it comes to getting children from home to school. There are still several issues in school buses that can potentially harm children and cause fatal injuries, such as:

Seat Belts

The level of safety that seat belts provide is proven and widely accepted, and they are mandatory for drivers and passengers traveling in any kind of vehicle. However, seat belts are not installed on large school buses for several reasons, which compromise the safety of children. Actions are being taken nationwide by a number of organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Coalition of School Bus Safety, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Physicians for Automotive Safety, and others, for making it mandatory for school buses to have seat belts.

Strobe Lights

Police, ambulance, fire, and other such vehicles are equipped with strobe technology that provides the driver with greater visibility in adverse weather conditions. It can be an added safety measure that would allow incoming vehicles to see a school bus from 3 times the distance than from standard lights installed in vehicles.

Non-Conforming Vehicles

Schools are prohibited to purchase converted vans to be used as school buses because they lack the design and features that add to the safety of children. However, many schools still use them to cut costs.

Roof Hatches

School buses must have at least one roof hatch, and this requirement has been made mandatory by the federal government. This is because if a school bus is involved in an accident and it rolls over, it becomes difficult to enter it if it lacks a roof hatch. While it is an inexpensive safety feature, over 4000,000 buses in the US do not have it.

Traction Control System

Ambulances and fire trucks have traction control system to provide better control over the vehicle during the colder months. This feature should be installed in large school buses as well.

Overcrowding

A 42-inch seat is designed for 3 passengers, but due to overcrowding, children are either sitting in a congested way or have to stand. Some states consider it illegal for a school bus to have standees, and if you see a school bus in such a condition, you should report it to the school transportation administrator or police department of your state.

Black Box Technology

While black-box technology is used in commercial trucks to keep records, such as speed, hours of operation, crash forces, and others, this can also be used in large school buses to keep a vigilant eye on driver’s behaviors and understand the causes of crashes to come up with solutions that reduce the probability of an accident.

It can be devastating for parents to learn about their child’s injury or death in a school bus accident. If your child or loved one has been injured in such an accident, you should consider initiating a legal action against the responsible party. Contact Fisk & Monteleone LTD. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation.