Arizona School Buses Aren’t Accident-Free
While all parents hope their children’s ride to school is safe and uneventful, there are times when school buses are involved in accidents. Most bus drivers are extremely cautious and obey all road signs and traffic laws, but sometimes other drivers aren’t as careful.
In Northeastern Arizona in 2017, a car rear-ended a school bus carrying 14 children along the Interstate 40 frontage road. The children were unharmed, but two passengers in the car were both killed by the impact. The driver had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital.
In Bullhead City, a bus carrying more than a dozen students on the volleyball team was struck from behind by a semi-truck. Several of the children were injured, one had to be airlifted to a hospital, and parents of uninjured students had to drive out to the scene to get their children.
Sometimes, the bus driver is responsible for the crash. In Tucson in 2017, a bus driver passed out behind the wheel and veered onto a sidewalk on Speedway Boulevard, killing a woman on a scooter.
What Can Parents Do?
Parents can make sure their children know how to follow school bus safety rules:
- remaining seated at all times,
- never sticking hands or body parts out windows,
- staying quiet and calm so the driver can focus on the road, and
- never engaging in any horseplay while on the bus.
It’s also important not to fit too many kids into a seat or change seats while the bus is in motion. Children should also know how to call parents in the event of an emergency.
Parents can also ask the school district for paperwork on their children’s driver, including a background check, driving record, certification, and any other documentation. Drivers should have experience driving buses and not suffer from any health conditions that might impair their abilities to safety deliver children to and from school and other events. Parents can also ask when the bus was last inspected and if there are any known mechanical faults or problems.
Drivers can also help keep kids safe. Never pass a bus that is stopped and is displaying its stop sign. This means children are entering and exiting the bus and could be hit by passing cars that don’t stop. It’s against the law to pass a stopped bus. Drivers can also pay attention to the road and never drive while intoxicated or distracted. They can also leave several car spaces between their car and the bus, with plenty of room to stop when the bus does.
It can be difficult to determine who is at fault when a school bus accident occurs. Is it another driver? The bus driver? Did the accident occur because of a faulty repair job? Are there recalls on parts of the bus that weren’t addressed? It’s important to get the help of an experienced Arizona school bus accident attorney who can identify the at-fault party and hold them responsible for victim’s medical bills and other related expenses.