While no one is immune to injuries, navigating the aftermath of an accident involving children can be all the more stressful, especially for parents and families with school-aged kids in the household. For parents whose children take the school bus, the possibility of motor vehicle crashes can be all the more worrisome.
What are some common dangers for school bus drivers in 2023? In this blog, we’ll review some of the hazards associated with NYC school bus accidents and key safety tips to keep children safe while commuting to and from school.
School Bus Safety in New York City
School bus drivers play a crucial role in ensuring the safe transportation of children in New York. However, like any motor vehicle operator, bus drivers aren’t immune to accidents and hazards on the road that may put their safety—not to mention the safety of their young passengers—at serious risk.
Understanding common hazards for school bus drivers in NYC is essential to protect children’s safety and prevent injuries. Before delving into common school bus hazards, it's crucial for parents to understand and teach their children important safety tips while riding on New York school buses. Some key points to remind children of include:
- Telling children to stand at least 6 feet away from the curb until the school bus comes to a complete stop. This ensures that students are a safe distance away from traffic and reduces the risk of accidents when entering or exiting the bus.
- Demonstrate respectful behavior by refraining from horseplay or rowdiness during the commute. Explain to your child that this will help the bus driver concentrate on the road and operate the vehicle safely.
- Only cross in front of the school bus when the driver can see you, Never Behind the Bus. Teach your child to wait for the driver's signal before proceeding to ensure maximum visibility and avoid potential collisions.
- Use available handrails and seatbelts when provided. Although features like handrails and seatbelts vary depending on the school bus, it’s important to remind your child to make use of them whenever they’re available, as this can protect young passengers in the event of a sudden stop or unexpected collision.
Top 7 Hazards for New York School Bus Drivers
There are various hazards that can result in school bus accidents in NYC. Some of the top dangers to school bus drivers include:
- Distracted driving: The prevalence of distracted driving poses a significant risk to school bus drivers. School bus drivers or other motorists who engage in activities such as texting, eating, or using electronic devices while driving can cause accidents and endanger the lives of both bus drivers and passengers.
- Reckless driving: School bus drivers often encounter drivers who exceed speed limits, make unsafe lane changes, or fail to yield the right of way. Reckless driving behaviors increase the likelihood of collisions and accidents on the road.
- Traffic violations: School bus drivers must contend with drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses. This violation is not only illegal but also endangers the safety of children boarding or disembarking from the bus.
- Poor weather or road conditions: Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or fog, can significantly impact road visibility and traction, making it more challenging for school bus drivers to navigate safely.
- Fatigue or stress: School bus drivers often work long hours and face demanding schedules, which can lead to fatigue and stress. Fatigue impairs concentration and reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Bus stop hazards: School bus drivers encounter various hazards at bus stops, such as uneven terrain, poorly lit areas, or inadequate space for parking or maneuvering the bus. These hazards can increase the risk of slips, falls, or collisions.
- Mechanical issues: Proper bus maintenance is crucial for safe operations. Without it, mechanical failures (such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts) can occur, compromising the safety of both the school bus driver and passengers.
- Lack of adequate help on the school bus. If the bus matron fails to keep the passengers in their seats or fails to stop them from distracting the driver, this can pose a hazard to safe driving. The school bus driver must ensure that there is adequate passenger assistance on the bus.
What to Do After a New York School Bus Accident
If you or your child is injured in a New York school bus accident, it's important to know what steps you can take to seek justice and protect your loved ones from further harm.
It's imperative to follow these steps to demand fair compensation and file a personal injury claim:
- Secure experienced representation from a qualified school bus accident attorney. A NYC lawyer who is experienced in this field should be the one to guide you through the legal process and fortify your case with relevant evidence.
- Seek immediate medical attention for your child's injuries. Take care to document all medical records and expenses.
- Gather evidence related to the accident. Your qualified attorney will collect photographs, witness statements, and any available video footage (e.g., CCTV or security cameras).
- Report the incident to the appropriate authorities. If your child is injured, make sure that a report is made to the bus company, The school district and/or the police.
Experienced Representation for Injured New Yorkers
Our experienced personal injury lawyers have decades of experience protecting the rights of injured New Yorkers. From school bus accidents, access-a-ride accidents, bike accidents to pedestrian accidents and more, our award-winning attorneys can prioritize your unique needs while guiding your steps appropriately in and out of the courtroom. Don’t forgo your right to skilled representation after an NYC accident. Contact our firm to secure the personalized, results-driven representation you deserve after your suffering.
Wrongfully injured in New York? Our firm can fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Call (718) 690-3132 to schedule a free consultation