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School Bus Accidents

Yellow buses not only transport children to and from school each day, school buses transport children to camps, sporting events, field trips, and to a number of other school and non school-related activities.  School buses are also being used to transport bridal wedding parties, tailgaters, large parties and teenagers who are attending their prom.  School buses are the biggest type of mass transit in the United States, providing almost nine million student trips every year. Unfortunately, according to recent official school bus accident statistics, approximately 1,450 people have been killed in school bus related accidents since 1990.

According to school bus accident statistics approximately 45% of all school bus accidents involve front-end impacts, followed by right side impacts, non-collisions, left side impacts and rear impacts.  Many times it is the error of the school bus driver who is at fault for causing a school bus accident but not all the time.  Causes of bus accidents can include, but are not limited to:

  • Improper or inadequate driver training
  • Inexperienced driver
  • Reckless or careless driving
  • Failure to follow the rules of the road
  • Speeding
  • Driver inattention due to texting, cell phone use, etc
  • Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driver fatigue or not enough rest in between runs
  • Driving a bus in conditions of poor visibility due to fog, snow, rain, or smoke
  • Driving off the side of the road
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Coming to a sudden stop
  • Failing or deficient brakes
  • Failure to inspect and maintain bus
  • Faulty repairs
  • Lack of proper mirrors
  • Defective seat backs
  • Defective tires
  • Defective seat anchors
  • Defective or failing special needs equipment
  • Overloaded buses
  • Failure of driver to monitor bus riders
  • Aggressive school bus driving behavior
  • Failure of bus driver to implement school policies and safety rules
  • Vehicle design and manufacturing defects
  • Steering Failure
  • Failure to perform background checks on bus drivers
  • Unsafe safety systems, reflectors, lights, and other warning devices
  • Negligence of another vehicle driver

In the United States, most school buses are not required by law to have passenger seat belts.  Instead, it is believed that the school buses provide collision protection by creating small passenger compartments in the event of a crash.  In addition, they should have crush-proof roofs in case of a rollover, strong joints in between steel paneling, seats with high backs and thick padding.  However, it appears that even with these “safety features” bus riders are still thrown around the passenger compartment of the bus during an accident and seriously injured or killed.

If you, your child, or a loved one was injured while on a yellow bus or school bus, you would want to speak with an attorney who is experienced with complex cases and special laws regarding school buses, manufacturing defects, school transportation, product defects and motor vehicle accident law.  Since 1958, the experienced auto and bus accident attorneys here at the Philadelphia Beasley Law Firm have been successfully representing individuals who were catastrophically injured or killed in automobile or bus accidents. To date, we have had over $2 billion awarded on behalf of our injured clients with hundreds of million and multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements.  Please feel free to contact us at 1.888.823.5291 for a strictly confidential and free consultation.