New York School Bus Injuries and Accident Prevention and Safety
Frank J. Dito, Jr.
Many parents with school age children often ask the question "how safe are school buses?" the answer to that question is two fold. While studies have shown that school buses are the safest form of transportation for school-age children to get to and from school there is also more studies that have been done that show that there are many dangers associated with riding on a school bus. In fact, one study showed that 17,000 children are hospitalized yearly because of school bus related injuries which is nearly double the amount of what was previously though to be the annual amount of school bus related injuries. The number of injuries nearly doubled because recent studies included injuries not only from school bus accidents but injuries that occur when roughhousing on a bus, slip and falls and falling out of the seat because of a sudden stop or sudden turn.
While more than half of the school bus related injuries are caused by incidents similar to that which are listed above the other half are caused by school bus accidents that result from crashes.
While school buses have proven to be the safest form of transportation for going to and from school there are things that sometimes happen which occur that cause the school bus driver, the school district or the school bus company to be liable for their actions:
- Hiring school bus drivers with inadequate experience
- Not properly training school bus drivers
- School bus driver operating the school bus while tired, fatigue, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, under the influence of certain prescription medication or any other negligent act
- Having too many students on the school bus
- Driving in adverse road conditions
- Negligence of the bus company such as lack of bus maintenance, improper bus maintenance, faulty bus equipment, missing bus equipment or illegal bus equipment
These common negligent acts by school bus drivers, school bus companies, school districts and other negligent drivers often result in injuries to children. The most common injuries that occur in school bus accidents are:
- Head, Neck and Back trauma
- Broken bones, fractures and sprains
- Spinal cord injury
- A traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue trauma and internal bleeding
- Loss of limbs
Remember to take this week to education your children about school bus safety. Explain to them the importance of using safety precautions while getting on the bus, while riding the bus and while getting off of the bus. Here are some things you can go over with your children:
- Do not run onto the bus
- When getting onto the bus make sure you walk up the stairs with caution
- Stay seated in the bus and if the bus has safety belts use them
- Do not stand up while the bus is moving and wait until it comes to a complete stop before exiting the bus
- Try not to fall asleep during the bus ride. Staying awake will help you brace yourself better in case the school bus makes a sudden stop or turn.
- When exiting the bus use caution walking to the front of the bus and walking down the stairs
- Do not run out into the middle of the street and always look both ways before crossing.
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