Getting our children safely to school is often taken for granted as hundreds of buses crowd the roads every morning. When school started back, we urged Florida drivers to be extra cautious as students loaded and unloaded school buses. Unfortunately, recently there has been a rash of school bus crashes across the country, including Florida, and our accident attorneys once again ask drivers to take extra care when driving near school buses.
On Monday afternoon, students were riding a school bus that collided with a tractor-trailer near Port St. Lucie. Tragically, one student died while five others were critically injured. Ten other students and the school bus driver were admitted to the local hospital for treatment. According to TCPalm.com, the school bus transporting 30 Frances K. Sweet Elementary School students turned left from westbound Okeechobee Road approaching Midway Road when a truck hauling sod struck it. The truck could not stop in time. The bus spun 180 degrees, and the tractor-trailer fell on its side upon impact.
This wreck is just one of too many school bus accidents that have left children dead and injured this year. An AP article lists the following recent school bus accidents:
- An 11-year-old died and 17 other children were injured in February after a school bus and dump truck collided in Chesterfield, NJ.
- 11 students were treated at the hospital in eastern Missouri last Tuesday, after the school bus slid off the road and overturned in a ditch.
- A school bus driver and a five-year-old died last Monday, and two other students were critically injured when the school bus crashed into a railroad bridge in Indianapolis.
- A school bus by Quincy, Washington went off the road last Monday, and rolled over injuring dozens of students.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 1,386 people have died in school transportation-related crashes since 2000 — an average of 139 fatalities per year.
Although this number seems high, the NHTSA reports school buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles. Some of the safety features include: flashing lights, reinforced sides, crush standards, bright color, and stop sign arms. According to the NHTSA, the school bus drivers are also highly skilled and trained. Drivers must be trained in student behavior management and security procedures, are screened for drug and alcohol use, and are trained in rendering first-aid.
The causes of bus accidents are varied, but students sometimes distract drivers. Our Treasure Coast accident attorneys ask parents to go over the following school bus behavior rules with their children.
The National Safety Council suggests the following:
- Students should find a seat, sit down and remain seated while on the bus.
- Loud talking or other noise can distract the bus driver and is not allowed.
- Never put head, arms or hands out of the window, and do not throw anything out the window.
- Keep aisles clear – books or bags are tripping hazards and can block the way in an emergency.
- At your stop, wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat.
Our South Florida personal injury attorneys believe that practicing good, safe driving behaviors is even more important around school zones and school buses. Please put down your cell phone and avoid other distractions when traveling our Florida highways.
An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
For help with your Florida car or bus accident claim, trust the law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. We serve victims of automobile crashes and bus accidents in South Florida and the Treasure Coast. We accept clients from Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Stuart, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, Palm Beach, as well as other South Florida communities.
If a distracted driver in Florida has injured you or someone you love, call us today at (800) 299-8878 or fill out our convenient online contact form for a free consultation.