More than 300 children in the U.S. were killed between 2006 and 2015 in motor vehicle accidents involving school buses. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it was often passenger vehicle drivers who caused the collisions. These accidents occur because school buses make frequent stops, which increase commute times and frustrate motorists. Road safety experts urge drivers to take school buses into consideration when planning their journeys and either avoid busy roads entirely by taking more circuitous routes or leave earlier to account for stop-and-go traffic.
Even children who have been taught about road safety may act unpredictably when getting on or off a school bus. This is why drivers can be ticketed and fined for not stopping when a school bus has its red lights on and arm extended. The rule applies even to drivers who are on the opposite side of a divided road. In addition to following the law, drivers should remain vigilant and look for gaps between parked vehicles or other spaces that children could emerge from unexpectedly.
The sometimes dangerous behavior of children is also why road safety experts recommend that motorists keep distractions to a minimum when driving near school buses. They say that cell phones should be switched off, electronic entertainment systems turned down and conversations with passengers avoided until school buses have been passed safely. They also suggest remaining at least 10 feet behind school buses at all times.
Determining damages in lawsuits involving children injured in motor vehicle accidents can be challenging. Damages in car accident cases usually include compensation for the plaintiff's lost income as well as their medical expenses and other bills. While there are no missed paychecks when the victim is a child, attorneys could pursue compensation for lost income when the injuries could affect future work.