It is that back-to-school time of year, and while children may be reluctant to return to class, for many of us parents, it can be an exciting time. As we prepare to get our children safely ready for the school year, it is important to review school bus safety rules with our kids. Even if your children have been riding the bus for several years, it is important to remind them about what they should and should not do around and on the school bus at the start of every year.
Unfortunately each year, thousands of children and adults suffer from injuries that are the result of school bus accidents. If you or your child has been hurt in a school bus accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit. You can do so by consulting an experienced Chicago school bus accident lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. who understands the importance of school bus safety and can help you recover compensation to which you or your child may be entitled. Call us today at (312) 236-2900.
Common Causes of School Bus Accidents
There are a number of individuals who may be held liable for a school bus accident. The bus driver, a mechanic who did not maintain the bus correctly, or another driver who caused the bus crash may be responsible. Several of the most common causes of school bus accidents in Chicago include:
- A bus driver who disregards traffic laws or certain bus regulations
- A bus driver who was inadequately trained or improperly licensed
- A defective school bus
- A school bus that was improperly maintained
- A driver of another vehicle who does not give the right right-of-way to the bus driver
- Failure of other vehicles to properly stop for a bus
Injuries that Arise from School Bus Accidents
When a school bus accident takes place, its passengers, as well as pedestrians and those in other vehicles, may experience tragic injuries. Some of them most common injuries that arise from school bus accidents include burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, fractures, sprains, and soft tissue injuries. Fatalities also occur in more severe accidents.
School bus accident victims are often left with disabilities that make it impossible for them to work and medical bills that leave a tremendous financial burden on their lives. If a school bus accident has hindered your life or your child’s life, you owe it yourself to contact a Chicago bus accident attorney who can help you move past this roadblock.
School Bus Safety Tips
The following are the most important safety tips that kids need to remember as they start up the new school year.
- Always walk on the sidewalk to the bus. Never run, even if you are running late to the stop. It can be dangerous.
- Give yourself plenty of time to arrive on time to the stop. Risky behaviors are most common when we rush. If you get there early, you will be relaxed and ready to catch the bus.
- Do not ever play in the road while waiting for the bus. It can be tempting to run around and be goofy at the bus stop, but it is very dangerous to run into traffic, even in your neighborhood. Stay off the road and wait patiently.
- Remember to wait on the curb to board the bus or cross the street until it is fully stopped. Buses are big and cannot stop quickly. For your safety, you should stay off the road until the bus is fully stopped and the red flashing lights are stopping traffic.
- Never talk to strangers at the bus stop. You should never get into a car with an adult that you do not know either.
- Be aware of the “danger zone” around the bus. When you cross the street in front of the bus, you need to stay out of the danger zone (ten feet around any side of the bus). The driver may not be able to see you in that area. It is always best to cross in front of the bus.
- If the bus stop is far from the house or on a busy street, younger children should be accompanied by an adult. Even on less busy streets, it may be a good idea to accompany very young students or have an older child look out for them.
- Remain seated and facing forward at all times while the bus is moving. Buses are designed to be very safe, but only if you are sitting properly and not messing around.
- Keep your personal items out of the aisles. Your backpack, books, and other belongings need to be on your lap, beside you, or under your feet, but never in the aisle. These things can be tripping hazards or block access to exits in an emergency.
- Don’t yell. The bus driver can be distracted if you are yelling or horsing around. This is very dangerous. Talk quietly to your neighbors.
- Do not put your arms or belongings out the windows of the bus. You could be injured by passing objects.
- Wait until the bus is completely stopped to get out of your seat. The bus will not pull away without letting you off. Make sure to sty seated until the bus stops moving.
- Respect your bus driver at all times. Your bus driver is there to keep you safe. You need to listen and follow his or her instructions.
- If you drop something when you are crossing in front of the bus make sure to tell the driver before you bend down to pick it up. Otherwise the driver may not be able to see you.
- Only get off the bus at your normal stop unless you have a note from a parent. The bus driver needs to know that you have permission to change from the normal routine.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street after getting off the bus. Watch out for traffic.
If you follow all of these rules, you will have a safe and fun ride to and from school every day.
Parents, remember to tell your children these rules before the first day of class and remind them throughout the year, so that they will always be safe while riding the bus. Have a great start to your school year!
Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Today
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident or you experienced injury because of the negligence of a bus driver or the driver of another vehicle, you should reach out to a Chicago bus accident lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. as soon as possible.
We may be able to help you recover compensation that you can use to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and property damage. Contact us today at (312) 236-2900 for your free consultation.