When we send our children off to school, we expect them to be protected and although school bus accidents are rare, they do happen, and it can be devastating. It is assumed by the majority of parents that buses are well-maintained, and the drivers are careful, however, this is not always the case. We depend on the fact that the school bus driver has specialized training and exercise care to ensure the safety of the young passengers they transport as well as the other motorists on the road. There are times where things just go wrong.
Drivers’ negligence is a major factor in the majority of the accidents that occur with school bus accidents. Regardless if the driver is reckless, being aggressive, or simply driving while distracted, they can be held liable if their actions result in an accident. School bus drivers are hired and regulated by the city and the county in Florida and it is their responsibility to screen the potential candidates appropriately. We all know that when our children are inside the school buildings it is the school district that we count on to keep our children safe and rings true when they are being transported on a school bus. School bus drivers should be screened properly and have clean driving records. The school district should also ensure that drivers are all duly licensed, pass a drug screen, and pass a background check.
Once a school bus driver has met all the qualifications and is hired, the school district has a duty to ensure that they are appropriately trained. A school bus driver must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) that has a special School Bus (S) designation. This requires the driver to pass a written test, but it does not require to undergo any specialized training beyond CDL training to drive the school bus. As we can all imagine driving a school bus provides a unique challenge for the driver because of the number of children on the bus and their rowdiness can be a difficult one when it comes to concentration to provide safety. It is the employer’s responsibility to properly provide training for the driver on safety issues.
We must now move above and beyond the control of the driver’s responsibilities to keep our children safe. The school district also has an obligation to the drivers of the bus, our children, and other automobiles and pedestrians on the road. The owners of the bus as well as those who manage the maintenance of the bus have a duty to keep the bus in good working order at all times; failure to do so can result in liability. There are times a bus accident can be the result of a defect in the manufacturing or design of the bus and will have to account for their part of the neglect of which contributed to the accident.
There are a few simple guidelines to follow when it comes to keeping our children safe on their way to and from school. Although we have noted the responsibilities of the bus driver, school districts, and the proper maintenance of the busses the community can contribute to making sure our neighbors, friends, family, and all children are taken care of. Double-check before you back out of your driveway or your garage to ensure there are no children walking to or from a bus stop in order to prevent an accident. Drive the speed limit or slower in a residential area where you are aware of where busses stop or might travel through- as we all know children are not always aware of their surroundings if you see anything abnormal or draws attention to the possibility of a school bus acting in an unsafe manner, notify the authorities at once. The cases of alcohol or drug intoxication have occurred far too often.
For more information on the types of bus accident cases our firm handles, or to learn how our firm could assist in filing a claim for compensation on your behalf, please do not hesitate to contact the Truck Accident Law Firm today. With over 80 years of combined experience representing bus and truck accident victims across the nation, we are the preeminent law firm that other attorneys turn to for help. Serving Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, New York, and the nation.