Image source: KOMO News
Two students were taken to the hospital on Monday morning after the bus they were riding to school was struck by another vehicle. The crash began when a black Chevy GMC and a white minivan were involved in a T-bone collision; one of the vehicles was pushed into the front end of the school bus. The Snohomish County sheriff told reporters that the two children had been taken to the hospital as a precaution, but they were not hurt.
Unfortunately, crashes involving school buses are an all too common occurrence. This school week has already seen:
- The death of a driver who ran into the back of a school bus in Ohio
- A driver sideswiped by a bus after the bus ran a stop sign in Florida
- Two children taken to the hospital with injuries in Pennsylvania after the bus they were riding in hit a light pole
- A rear-end collision of a school bus in Michigan
- A school bus that tipped onto its side in Pennsylvania with three students injured
- A school bus that crashed into a ditch in North Carolina
- Another school bus that flipped onto its side on a wet road in Texas
- A crash between a car and a school bus carrying students in Georgia
- A hit-and-run involving a school bus in Louisiana
- A head-on collision involving a school bus in Texas
- A head-on collision involving a school bus left five people with injuries in Florida
Are school buses safe for children?
Investigators and attorneys across the country are looking into the possibility that school buses need safety improvements. School buses do not typically have seatbelts, and their bench-like seats are usually designed to carry as many children as possible, not to provide maximum protection in the event of a crash. 61 school bus passengers have died in crashes between 2005 and 2014; only four of them were wearing seat belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recommended that school buses be equipped with lap and shoulder belts, but it is up to individual districts and states to decide whether they will put seat belts on their buses.
Attorneys representing five students and one parent in Florida are considering filing a lawsuit after a full school bus careened into a lake infested with alligators. The school bus driver who crashed into the lake had failed a driving exam three times. In Missouri, a lawsuit has been filed against a school bus company that has been involved in 50 crashes since January of 2015. A court in North Carolina ordered the state to pay $225,000 to the bereaved family of a man who was killed by a school bus while he was riding his scooter. Parents in Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit after a crash injured six elementary school students. And these are only a few of the cases in court systems across America.
These cases can be difficult for plaintiffs to navigate on their own. Sometimes the fault lies with a school district for failing to make sure that buses and their drivers are safe; sometimes the bus owned and operated by a private company. In some cases, the driver of another vehicle may be at fault. If your child has been injured in a school bus crash, a personal injury attorney can help you understand your family’s legal rights.