School bus accidents happen more frequently than what you’d think. In fact, last October the Star-Telegram reported four school bus accidents occurring at different locations within a one-hour period.
In order to operate a school bus, a candidate must have an acceptable driving record, pass a current Department of Transportation physical and drug screen, and complete a 20-hour bus driver certification course and behind-the-wheel evaluation. That gets them in the driver’s seat, but what ensures they will always use the utmost caution while transporting children to and from school and school-related activities?
Brad Parker says, “Bus drivers have very important jobs. They’re in charge of our kids’ safety for portions of their days, and school districts need to be extremely strict in the qualifications for hiring drivers.”
Leading causes for school bus accidents include:
School bus drivers start making runs at 6 a.m. and often transport kids to athletic events or field trips into the evening. The long hours day after day can be draining.
Not only are bus drivers responsible for driving safely, but they are also in charge of discipline. A bus full of rowdy kids can result in numerous distractions, as can a bus driver’s own negligence including using a cell phone, eating or drinking and adjusting controls on the bus.
School bus drivers operate on tight time constraints. Any delay in picking up students may cause the driver to speed in order to keep on schedule. At higher speeds, the driver’s judgment becomes impaired and increases the risk of an accident.
4. Poor Vehicle Condition
Regular maintenance is imperative for the safe daily operation of school buses. As buses get older, equipment becomes faulty. Any lapse in maintenance could potentially lead to a crash and jeopardize the safety of students.
Back to school is an exciting time and school districts should ensure their drivers are both qualified and responsible to be taking care of our children. If tragedy does occur, give our office a call at 817-440-3888.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.