Families trust school systems with their precious cargo each day. We worry about so many things when our children are away from us, and one of them is putting our sons and daughters on school buses. Even though most school districts do a fantastic job regarding the safety of school buses and school bus drivers, accidents still happen. One of the worst phone calls a parent can get is hearing that their child’s school bus was involved in an accident and that the authorities do not know who has been hurt.
School Bus Accident Statistics
Every year, thousands of children start their day on a bus headed for a Florida school, and when you consider the process starts over once school ends – our kids spend a lot of time being transported in vehicles maintained and operated by the school system. When you look at Florida’s school bus accident statistics, there are a surprising number of school bus accidents each year. From 2019 to 2021, there were 282 school bus accidents in Florida. Only nine of these accidents indirectly involved the bus, which means the bus directly impacted 273 incidents.
School Bus Safety
Even though it might seem like there are many school bus accidents every year in Florida, the national statistics demonstrate that traveling by school bus is still very safe for children. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus than when traveling by car. Nationally, there have been relatively few school-bus-related fatalities. From 2010 to 2019, there were 126 school bus crash fatalities, where 58 were drivers, and 68 were students. That is because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road; they’re designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries, and in every state, stop-arm laws protect children from other motorists. Some argue that there would be many more accidents on the roads if school buses didn’t exist because it would take an additional 17 million cars to transport all the kids currently using school buses to get to school. When there are more vehicles on the roads, there are bound to be more accidents.
How Can the Average Driver Help With School Bus Safety?
Protecting our children is a community job. One of the most important ways drivers can help is by practicing safe driving habits around children.
Make school bus transportation safer for everyone by following these practices:
- When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
- When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be focused on getting to school – without thinking of getting there safely.
- Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street – especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
- Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
- Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
- Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state, as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions.
- Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
The Watson Firm – Florida Bus Accident Lawyers
Were you injured in a school bus accident or other motor vehicle collision? If so, you will want to contact an experienced bus accident lawyer to understand whether you have a possible legal claim to bring and what you should do to protect your case. The Watson Firm is made up of experienced personal injury attorneys. We concentrate on helping victims recover their monetary losses against those who cause them injuries in car, truck, bus and other vehicle-related accidents. Our attorneys will closely review your situation with you, discuss your legal options, and fight aggressively to get you paid every dollar that you deserve. Call the Watson Firm at (850) 607-2929. We specialize in protecting the interests of injured bus accident victims. Our attorneys fight to get victims the compensation and justice they deserve.