Many parents place their children on a school bus every morning, trusting that the driver of that bus will act in a manner that will ensure their children’s safety. And if their kids return home after school without incident, few will give a second thought to the school bus, the school bus company, the district that runs the bus, or other issues related to school transportation.
Unfortunately, though, every year school bus accidents take place and many of them cause injuries to the children on board. Others will cause harm to drivers and passengers in other vehicles, like a typical car, and yet others affect the lives of bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2014, 1,766 school bus crashes happened in Illinois alone, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Most adults realize that school buses serve an important function by helping kids get to and from school, but fewer people realize that school buses are designed in a specific manner to promote safety. They are typically painted a bright yellow so that they can be readily seen and identified, lessening the likelihood of a passing motorist striking a bus unintentionally. They are larger and sit higher than a typical car which means that they will withstand a collision more readily than a typical vehicle, and if a crash happens, their high crush standards will help protect the integrity of the passenger compartment, preventing the vehicle’s exterior from intruding into the area where children ride.
School buses are also equipped with stop sign arms and flashing lights that activate when a driver is picking up and/or dropping off students. These aids serve to alert nearby drivers of the presence of children and, in most areas, require passing traffic to come to a stop until the pick up or drop off has concluded.
Perhaps one of the biggest factors leading to safety aboard a school bus is the driver herself. Bus drivers are required to undergo additional and specialized training before they can operate a bus legally and the requirements they face while behind the wheel are stricter than requirements for a typical driver. For example, while a small amount of alcohol may be legal in the blood stream of someone driving their personal car, bus drivers in Chicago are not allowed to have even a drop of alcohol in their systems.
Despite all the safety efforts that go into school buses and those who drive them, collisions keep happening in Cook County and keep harming children and adults alike. If you were a victim of a school bus crash, if your child was hurt, or if someone you love was injured or killed, know that you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages, including any medical expenses you incur.
The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all victims who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575. We have a licensed attorney standing by to speak with you 24/7 so that you can call whenever you need answers, regardless of the day or time. We fight for the best possible result in every case we handle and we never charge our clients a fee unless we make a recovery for them.
If an accident has affected you, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today.
Prior Blog Entry:
More Than 100,000 People are Injured in Truck Accidents Annually, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 30, 2016.
School Buses, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2014 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics, Illinois Department of Transportation.