In late September, a school bus crash in Lafayette Parish led to several hospitalizations. Lafayette Parish School Bus was on its morning route to take students to LJ Alleman Middle School when it was struck by the driver of a commercial truck. Police cited the driver of the truck. A group of students as well as the bus driver were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
How Safe Are School Buses?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the school bus in the safest vehicle on the road. Between four and six children die every year in school bus accidents, less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide. Your children are 70 times more likely to get to school and home safely on a school bus compared to a car.
There are a few reasons this mode of transportation is the safest. The first is that occupants of school buses sit much higher on the road than drivers of other vehicles. If a car crashes into a bus, generally, the students would be sitting above the point of impact, sparing them from serious harm. Additionally, the compartmentalized nature of the seats helps absorb impact damage and prevent injury. School buses are also intentionally easy to spot, with bright colors, flashing lights and warnings written on nearly every inch. Laws also protect students getting on and off buses, such as the law that you must obey the side-mounted stop signs when you are driving by a bus.
That said, buses can be prone to other types of accidents. Like semi-trucks, buses are large vehicles with a lot of inertia. This means that they have more trouble slowing down than other vehicles. Additionally, their design makes rollovers a potential threat. And because there are often so many occupants, if something goes wrong and a fast evacuation is needed (fire, submerged in water, etc.) children may be at risk if they are unable to escape.
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, speak to a bus accident lawyer.