Because they transport young children, school buses must adhere to strict safety regulations. Below, our world-famous school bus accident lawyer, Michael Ehline, will discuss the main five protocols for school bus drivers and share some secrets to recovering maximum compensation after a California or even Texas school bus collision.
Here are the five main rules in a nutshell:
There are also stop-arm laws to prevent passenger vehicles from illegally passing a school bus. This is why they are the safest vehicles on the road. However, no matter how safe these vehicles may be, school bus accidents occur.
Unfortunately, four to six children per year die on school buses, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In the event of a school bus accident, the driver must adhere to certain safety procedures to protect students.
If your child was involved in a school bus accident and you suspect that their injuries were caused by the negligence of one or more parties, it’s important to get legal counsel. Contact Ehline Law Firm today to book your free consultation!
First thing, before driving a bus full of kids, drivers are required to follow certain protocols to prevent accidents from happening. These drivers must ensure the safety of their passengers and report the accident accurately even if they are to blame for causing the danger.
Because of this have special training and duties as common carriers, including:
A school bus driver may be held accountable to families for an incident if they operate their bus incorrectly and cause one, or the school where they work may also be at fault for what happened while operating as school transportation.
That means they would be responsible for all accident-related expenses and injuries, including medical costs not covered by insurance.
Because school bus drivers transport children, it is important that they follow certain protocols to ensure the safety of their passengers following a collision. Failure to follow these procedures could be seen as negligence. Let’s take a look at the protocols for school bus driver after an accident.
School bus drivers must ensure that the vehicle is securely fastened and out of further danger as soon as the accident occurs. This includes putting up the necessary warning signs and stopping the bus until instructed to move again.
The next step is to make a list of every passenger on the school bus and look for any injured children. Drivers should provide any necessary initial assistance while awaiting emergency medical services if they possess the expertise required.
Moreover, the bus driver must remove all children from the vehicle if it is unsafe for them to remain inside. Suppose there is a fire hazard. In that case, the school bus driver must move the kids at least 100 feet from the vehicle. They must keep the children on the bus in all other cases.
The driver must swiftly contact the radio dispatcher of the relevant department with the following information about the incident after securing the vehicle and all students:
In the event that an ambulance has to be dispatched to the accident scene, law enforcement and emergency medical services should be informed if there are casualties. The incident needs to be reported to the school’s headmaster as well, in case their help is required.
To record the details, the school bus driver must use the accident investigation kit available on the bus. They will need to note the names, numbers, and addresses of any witnesses they can find at the accident scene.
It’s a good idea to write down the details of the accident, including any other drivers and vehicles who may have been involved.
The 5th and big final rule? Kids are safer sitting on the bus than outside, except when evacuation is required. School bus drivers should not allow the students to go to neighbors, passersby, or anybody else. They should also not let kids leave the area on their own.
Furthermore, he or she should not make any statements to other onlookers, the press, or insurers. The only people they should contact concerning the accident are the school, eyewitnesses, and law enforcement.
The school will assume its own responsibilities after the bus driver reports the collision.
No matter how bad the bus accident, the principal of the school or other members of staff will get in touch with each student’s parents to inform them of the incident and let them know how their child is doing.
In certain circumstances, they might also:
Additionally, a school nurse will be on call at the facility if immediate medical assistance is required.
Since school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road, not all bus accidents cause students to be severely injured. Here’s what bus drivers need to do when these less serious accidents occur, resulting in minor injuries:
School bus drivers can proceed on their route and have the kids examined by a nurse once they get to the school if there have been no reports of injuries and the vehicle is on schedule to arrive there.
School bus drivers are obligated to follow the safety protocols mentioned above. Failure to do so may be seen as negligence. If your child was injured because of another party, you should not have to shoulder the financial burden yourself. You can file a personal injury claim to pursue monetary compensation. To receive professional assistance with a legal claim if your child’s injuries resulted from an act of negligence, it’s important to talk to an experienced team of legal experts.
At Ehline Law Firm, we have nearly two decades of securing favorable verdicts for our clients and handle each case with the compassion, care, and seriousness it deserves. These 5 protocols are just a few safety standards for drivers to follow. Call (833) LETS-SUE or complete the online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our bus accident lawyers, preparing it for victory!
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.