Few things are more frightening to parents than the thought of their child being involved in a school bus accident. When we put our children on a school bus, we trust the driver, their supervisor, and administrators to keep them safe on the way to and from school. But bus driver errors, failure to properly hire and train drivers, inadequate maintenance, and other forms of negligence could lead to a collision that could have severe consequences for young riders.
If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you deserve answers and justice. Contact Virginia Beach school bus accident lawyer Mike Deering today for a free consultation to discuss your family’s rights and legal options.
Common Causes of School Bus Accidents
School bus accidents, unfortunately, occur more often than most people realize. Some of the most common causes of school bus accidents include:
- Bus driver negligence – Bus driver negligence is one of the more common causes of school bus accidents. Bus drivers might engage in unsafe driving practices such as speeding, tailgating, and unsafe lane changes, may get distracted by texting, talking on the phone, or talking to passengers, or other negligent actions that ultimately lead to an accident. School bus drivers are entrusted with the safety of the students they are transporting, and as such, they have a duty of care to ensure they don’t put them in harm’s way.
- Drowsy driving – Drowsy driving is a specific type of driver negligence that is unfortunately common. School bus drivers work long hours, and many work multiple jobs to make ends meet. When a school bus driver fails to get enough rest before their shift, they could become drowsy and cause an accident. Among the dangerous effects of drowsy driving include impaired judgment, inability to concentrate on the task of driving, and a delayed reaction when traffic suddenly slows or stops.
- Blind spots – Blind spots also commonly cause school bus accidents. School buses are equipped with mirrors that permit the driver to see other motorists and potential hazards. While you buses have large blind spots, if their mirrors are correctly adjusted and the driver regularly checks them, they should be able to detect cars to the side or behind the bus. School bus drivers who fail to check their blind spots before braking, changing lanes, or backing up could cause a dangerous accident.
- Hazardous weather – Inclement weather is another frequent cause of bus accidents. It may be more difficult for bus drivers to maneuver their vehicles in bad weather situations. And if bus drivers do not properly adjust their speed and driving to accommodate bad weather conditions such as rain, snow, sleet, or fog, they could potentially cause an accident.
- School district negligence – In some cases, bus drivers must use buses that have been poorly maintained or that the school district has failed to inspect regularly. Brake failure, tire failure, defective parts, and other issues could eventually cause an accident.
- Other motorists – Bus drivers are not the only potential liable parties when an accident occurs. Other motorists can also easily cause accidents if they engage in negligent driving behaviors.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way – In some cases, bus drivers can inadvertently cause an accident by failing to yield the right of way. For instance, if a bus driver attempts to cross a roadway, believing they have enough time to beat oncoming traffic, a T-bone accident could occur if they miscalculate the amount of time needed to cross the roadway, putting children on the right side of the vehicle in danger.
Contact a Virginia Beach School Bus Accident Lawyer
If your child was injured in a school bus accident, contact Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer Mike Deering to discuss your rights and legal options. Contact us at (757) 383-6848 today to schedule a free consultation.