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Both Passengers and Pedestrians Are at Risk in School Bus Accidents

Posted on in Personal Injury

Arlington Heights school bus accident injury lawyer

Fall is the time of year when children are headed back to school. Since many kids are bus riders, parents place the safety of their children in the hands of public transportation. While school bus transport is still a relatively safe and efficient way to get children to and from classes, research shows that school bus accidents here in Illinois and across the country continue to be a risk, and passengers are not the only ones in danger of injury. Recent incidents highlight the fact that school bus drivers, as well as pedestrians present in the areas surrounding school bus stops, are also likely to experience potential injuries in the event of an accident. 

Recent Events and Data Point to Diverse Risks

Students, parents, and the community at large in the city of Arcola, Illinois, are still reeling from a shocking school bus crash that took place earlier this summer. The bus was hit by a car head-on off Illinois Route 133, putting over 40 frightened first-graders in harm’s way. Thankfully, some of the children only sustained minor cuts and scrapes, and there were no major injuries. The driver was instinctive and quick to act, but the damage done to the front end of the bus shows the accident could have been much worse, particularly for the driver. All too often, we assume that those at greatest risk are the children passengers themselves, but this is one recent example that reminds us that bus drivers themselves are in danger of direct injury in school bus accidents. 

Sadly, many other accident victims are not so lucky as those involved in the Arcola incident. Among a number of recent school-bus related fatalities reported in the last year, the list of victims included bus drivers, children crossing the road to board their bus, or other nearby pedestrians crossing the road (in some cases illegally) at the time the bus was being loaded or unloaded. Reports reveal that in addition to these fatalities, which were comprised of more than just school bus passengers, there were at least 70 incidents that resulted in injury in 2018 to 2019 alone. In more than half of all these crashes, the fault was to be found with the other driver, or the blame was undetermined. A number of the reported incidents involving both fatal and non-fatal injuries occurred when children were walking along the street to meet a bus or waiting at a bus stop. 

Thankfully, despite these unfortunate events, there is a silver lining. Studies show that school bus transportation still typically holds the highest safety record for ground transport for students. According to School Transportation News, research shows that only a small fraction of 1 percent of all students who have ridden the school bus from 2018 to 2019 was injured in crashes. 

Contact a Palatine Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or your loved one has had the unfortunate experience of becoming a school bus accident statistic, it is important to know your rights. You may be entitled to receive financial compensation for the injuries and damages your family has experienced. Speak with a qualified, knowledgeable Arlington Heights bus accident attorney who can address all your questions and concerns while determining liability for your crash. Call Newland & Newland, LLP today at 847-797-8000 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://stnonline.com/special-reports/school-bus-injuries-fatalities-initial-report-for-2018-2019-school-year/

https://foxillinois.com/news/local/arcola-school-community-coping-after-terrifying-bus-crash

 

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