School bus accidents, while considerably rare, account for some child injuries in America. It is important to talk to your children about staying safe while they are on the school bus. In most cases, if they follow good safety practices, they can help avoid accidents and other incidents. If an accident occurs anyway, this page will also discuss how you can proceed.
School Bus Safety
Driving a large vehicle filled with dozens of energetic kids can be a difficult task. Sometimes children distract drivers, even if they don’t mean to. These distractions can result in accidents because they divert the school bus driver’s attention. Talk to your children about staying safe on the school bus with these tips.
You should inform your child that in order to stay safe on the school bus, they need to:
- Maintain a safe distance from the bus while it approaches. Your child should never run in front of or close to the bus while it approaches. Instruct them to wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before they move to get on it.
- Remain seated while the bus is moving. Sudden movements can distract the bus driver. In the event of an accident, your child could sustain serious injuries if they are moving around.
- Not crowd too many people into a bus bench. Make sure that there are not more than two kids on a bus bench at a time.
- Remain sitting and facing forward while the bus is moving (no laying on seats or turning around in them).
- If a seat belt is available to your child, they should use them at all times.
- Always listen to the bus driver. Following instructions from the driver will keep your child safe and will prevent distractions.
- Do not distract the bus driver by screaming or fighting on the bus. Make sure that your child tries to sit quietly and follows the rules outlined by the bus driver.
- Remind your child to follow any specific rules that the bus driver outlines. Many bus drivers list the rules of their bus on a piece of paper at the front of the bus.
In Case of an Accident
Accidents happen, even if preventative measures are taken. If your child is in a school bus accident, you need to do a few things.
First, you should make sure that your child is alright. Even if it appears that they are not injured, going to the doctor is a good idea. Your child may have injuries that you cannot see. To make sure that your child is safe, a visit to the doctor is a good idea.
In addition, in the event of a lawsuit, documenting your child’s injuries with a doctor will be useful.
Next, you should communicate with the school to determine who is at fault for the accident. Did the bus driver cause the accident, or was it the fault of another driver? If the bus driver caused the accident, were there additional factors? Did the bus fail? Was a child distracting the bus driver? These factors might be taken into consideration if a lawsuit is filed.
Finally, you should contact a lawyer to assist with your situation. In some cases, you might want to file a joint lawsuit with other families whose children were injured. We can discuss this option as well as others with you.