A recent school bus accident in Charles County has spurred investigations from both law enforcement and the school system. According to an article in the Washington Post, the school bus apparently rear-ended a car; this set off a chain reaction that wound up involving two additional cars. Although the crash resulted in some injuries, fortunately none of them appear life-threatening or otherwise severe.
As the accident gets investigated, it might be a good idea to step back and look at school bus accidents more generally, and what questions they raise.
School bus accident overview
As illustrated by data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are statistically the safest way for children to travel to and from school. Children are significantly safer in school buses than in passenger vehicles; furthermore, the buses are generally well-maintained and the bus drivers well-trained and responsible. It’s important not to forget this when discussing school bus accidents.
That said, when an accident does occur, it’s necessary to investigate the circumstances surrounding it:
- An accident might occur not on the bus, but at the bus stop. A child might get hit by a car when crossing the road from in front of a bus; passenger vehicle drivers might disregard the stop arm extended from the bus. And sometimes, a bus driver hits a child when the child disappears from the driver’s line of sight – for instance, when a child bends down in front of the bus to retrieve a fallen object.
- When bus drivers get involved in an accident, it’s important to look into their driving record, especially if it appears that they were at fault. It’s standard for bus drivers to also get tested for intoxicants after a crash.
- If there’s a flaw with the bus, such as malfunctioning brakes or other vehicular components, it’s necessary to ask why the issue wasn’t detected.
Working with a Charles County accident attorney in the aftermath of a crash will help you address these questions; it’s important to figure out who was responsible and what was preventable. Don’t hesitate to contact us for legal assistance and support.
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