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school bus accidents

School Bus Accidents and The Law

How safe are your children while riding the big yellow school bus? What happens if the bus doesn’t have seat belts, if your child wasn’t sitting properly (if at all) and there is an accident? Who’s to blame? Most often school bus accidents lead to injuries ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to more serious injuries. About 25 million elementary and secondary school children ride school buses to and from school each day and according to National Safety Council (NSC), school bus-related crashes killed 109 people nationwide in 2019. 

The National Safety Council encourages parents to teach their children these simple safety tips for getting on and off the school bus.

Safety Tips For Getting On And Off The School Bus

Getting On The School Bus

  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness. Do not stray onto streets, alleys, or private property.
  • Line up away from the street or road as the school bus approaches.
  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway.
  • Use the handrail when stepping onto the bus.

Behavior On The Bus

  • When on the bus, find a seat and sit down. Loud talking or other noise can distract the bus driver and is not allowed.
  • Never put your head, arms, or hands out of the window.
  • Keep aisles clear – books or bags are tripping hazards and can block the way in an emergency.
  • Before you reach your stop, get ready to leave by getting your books and belongings together.
  • At your stop, wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat, then walk to the front door and exit, using the handrail.

Getting Off The School Bus

  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least ten feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road until you can turn around and see the driver.
  • Make sure that the driver can see you.
  • Wait for a signal from the driver before beginning to cross.
  • When the driver signals, walk across the road keeping an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
  • Do not cross the centerline of the road until the driver has signaled that it is safe for you to begin walking.
  • Stay away from the bus’ rear wheels at all times.

Accidents occur for a variety of reasons and bus accidents are no exception. If the bus driver was negligent and failed to do his/or her job driving children to or from school, the driver’s employer may be held liable in the court of law. Today, most buses are equipped with seatbelts, so it is the parents’ responsibility to talk to their children about taking care of themselves on the bus and taking action to avoid an injury. 

We Are Here to Help

When it comes to seeking compensation for your child’s injuries and damages from a school bus accident, it helps to have an experienced attorney on your side. At Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye, PLLC, we offer more than 60 years of combined experience and have convenient office locations in Long Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and we know how to approach these cases to get the results you need. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, you can reach our New York offices located in Long Island, Brooklyn, or the Bronx, by phone at 800-469-7429 to schedule an appointment. You can also contact us using our online contact form and on our Live Chat application on our website to have your questions answered at any time.