School Buses Are Back. So Are Small Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Heavy School Zone Traffic
A new school year has begun, which means more traffic as parents pick up and drop off their kids at school and buses make their morning and afternoon routes. There is often an increased risk of an accident when more vehicles are on the road than usual. People are rushing to get to work and tend to their daily responsibilities while fighting traffic congestion.
Navigating around school buses can be tricky. They are much larger than passenger cars, and the bus drivers face significant challenges, such as large blind spots. Maneuvering this type of vehicle requires skill, focus, and experience. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand basic traffic laws about encountering buses. This can have devastating and fatal consequences.
In 2019, 109 people died in accidents involving school buses nationwide. Only six percent of these fatalities were passengers in the bus, while 69 percent were the occupants of other vehicles. The remaining percentage of deaths included bus drivers, pedestrians, and pedal cyclists.
Common Types of Bus Accidents
Three main types of crashes can occur with a school bus. They include:
- Bus passengers – Parents sending their kids to school on a bus trust that the driver will get them there safely. However, the driver could become distracted, take a turn too fast, or exceed the speed limit. These reckless behaviors can lead to collisions with other vehicles or stationary objects, injuring the children.
- Accidents with other vehicles – Many bus crashes involve the occupants of other motor vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles. If another driver ignores the flashing lights on a bus, fails to yield the right of way, or makes another type of error, they could end up on a collision course with the bus.
- Accidents with pedestrians – Pedestrians are at a much greater risk of severe injuries and death in accidents with buses. If the bus driver doesn’t prepare adequately ahead of a crosswalk, they might not have enough time to stop and avoid hitting someone walking across the road.
Whether the bus driver or another party was at fault for the accident, you deserve compensation for the losses you suffered. You should not be forced to pay for your medical treatment and other expenses when someone else’s actions caused your injuries.
Precautions You Should Take to Avoid an Accident
It’s impossible to prevent other people from creating dangerous situations. However, there are some things you can do to keep yourself safe and avoid causing harm to others. Follow these tips to avoid a collision with a bus, pedestrian, or another driver:
- Remain focused – You should never take your eyes off the road ahead. Be aware of your surroundings and keep a lookout for buses slowing down or stopping.
- Practice caution at crosswalks – Whether kids take the bus or walk to school, many have to walk across lanes of traffic. If you approach a crosswalk, slow down and prepare to come to a complete stop for anyone trying to cross.
- Pay attention to school zones – Drivers must reduce their speed when entering school zones at specific times of the day. You should slow down, thoroughly observe any children in the middle of the road, and be ready to stop if necessary.
- Don’t ignore hazardous conditions – Car crashes can happen in scenarios involving poor weather and defective roadways. Adjust your speed and navigate your way through dangerous conditions carefully. Reckless driving in pouring rain could cause a person to lose control of their vehicle and crash into another car or a child in a crosswalk.
As long as you’re alert and focus on what’s happening around you, you might be able to avoid a collision.
Sharing the Road with School Buses
Bus drivers have the challenging task of navigating a massive vehicle through traffic, around sharp turns, and past hazards in the road. It’s their job to keep their passengers safe and avoid causing accidents with other drivers.
If you see a bus, pay attention. Flashing lights indicate the driver needs to stop to drop off or pick up kids. Make sure you’re not tailgating so you can come to a complete stop in time. If you’re on the opposite side of the road, you should stop to allow children to cross the street. It’s crucial that you never pass a stopped bus that has its flashing lights turned on. Children are typically in the vicinity and could dart out into the road without looking for oncoming cars.
Sharing the Road with Pedestrians
Adults aren’t the only pedestrians to watch out for when you’re driving. When school is in session, children also use crosswalks, walk along the side of the road, and cut through parking lots. Yield when necessary and drive slowly in school zones. Breaking basic traffic laws can put a young pedestrian at risk of injury or death.
Sharing the Road with Bicyclists
Some kids ride their bikes to and from school. Most bicycle lanes don’t have a barrier protecting bikers from the vehicles whizzing by. A distracted driver could drift into the bike lane, sideswiping the bicyclist.
Certain circumstances require motorists to allow riders to cross at an intersection. If you approach a stop sign, proceed with caution. You should also check for crossing bikers before making a right-hand turn at a red light.
Injured in an Accident? Call Loewy Law Firm Today
If you were involved in a car accident in Texas, do not hesitate to contact Loewy Law firm to discuss your legal options. You might be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party.
Crashes involving buses can lead to massive property damage, severe injuries, and fatalities. If the bus driver’s actions are to blame, you could file an insurance claim and pursue a settlement to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Since 2005, our legal team has fought for the injured and held negligent individuals liable for their wrongdoing. We can investigate the accident, gather available evidence, and aggressively seek the money you’re owed. When you’re in pain and struggling to recover, the last thing you want to deal with is building a case. We can take on that responsibility so you can focus on healing your injuries and getting your life back on track.
If you were injured in a school bus or other accident due to another person’s negligence, call Loewy Law Firm at (512) 280-0800 for a free consultation right now.