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School Buses Remain Safest Option, Despite News Stories of Crashes

Steve Wagner

Synopsis

  • Indy’s wintry roads are at it again. WISHTV reported that weather conditions played a role in a school bus crash near Brookville Road and East Pleasant Run Parkway when a pickup truck rear-ended the bus.
  • When parents hear about accidents involving school bus crashes, they often think the worst. That shouldn’t be the case though as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been proving to us for decades that the school bus is the safest vehicle on the road.
  • In fact, students are actually about seventy times more likely to get to school safely if they take the school bus instead of traveling by car.
  • Indiana does have a school bus law that helps. It says motorist must stop their cars at a safe distance and wait until a school bus’s red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
  • The best things for parents to do if they want to keep bus riders safe are to follow the rules of the road themselves, pay attention and stay off their phones while driving, and obey the law.

Road Conditions Played a Factor in Indy School Bus Crash

Slick roads are to blame for a school bus crash that recently took place in the area of Brookville Road and East Pleasant Run Parkway. The accident report says road conditions caused by winter weather likely caused a pickup truck to rear-end the bus. Seven children were transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

Tougher, Well Maintained School Buses Keeps Kids Safe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says today’s school bus is the safest vehicle on the road. They are designed so that they’re highly visible and include safety features such as flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors and stop-sign arms. They also include protective seating, high crush standards and rollover protection features.

In fact, your child is much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car. This statement may not be surprising though, as it has long been proven by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that school buses are safer modes of transportation.

  • Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely if they take the school bus instead of traveling by car.
  • Today’s school buses are tougher, cleaner, and more diligently maintained than ever before.
  • School bus drivers are well-trained and school bus traffic laws are more widely and strictly enforced.

Although four to six school-age children die each year on school transportation vehicles, that’s less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide.

Other Drivers Put School Buses Passengers at Risk

Poor driver habits, disregard for traffic laws, obstructed views, and distracted and impatient drivers put bus riders at risk, which is why it’s important that all drivers stay responsible for road safety. In Indiana, there are school bus laws. State law requires motorists to stop when a school bus is picking up or dropping off children.

  • Watch for school buses with their stop arm extended and red lights flashing, indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off.
  • Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

This law applies to all roadways except those that are divided by a physical barrier or an unimproved median. On a divided roadway, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop. Disregarding a school bus stop signal is serious, and could cause a tragic accident with a child pedestrian or another vehicle.

School Bus Related Injuries Can Happen

If your child has been the victim of an injury while riding on a school bus as a result of another driver’s wrongdoing or an unsafe condition on the bus itself, the law offices of Wagner Reese want to assist you in bringing justice to these situations and restore your confidence in the safety of the school bus. Call us at (888) 204-8440 to schedule your free school bus accident consultation and find out how we can help answer any questions you may have or assist you and your family through any legal needs related to your child’s injury.

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