Last week, nine school kids were treated and released at the Carroll Hospital Center in Sykesville, Maryland, after their school bus and a 1992 Buick collided with one another near Linton Springs Elementary School. The bus had been 100 yards away from the unloading zone at the elementary school when the Buick pulled out in front of the bus from a side parking lot. About 50 school kids were on the bus at the time of the accident.
· There are 585,000 school buses in the U.S.
· 20 students are killed in bus accidents each year (5 while on the bus and 15 are run while getting off or on buses).
· 6000 students are injured in bus-related accidents each year.
Federal law mandates that small school buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds carry seat belts. Large buses weighing at least 25,000 pounds are not required to have seat belts.
According to a 2002 study on school bus safety by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
· Safety lap bets can increase the chances of a student incurring serious abdominal or neck injuries during an accident.
· As studies found that young passengers were likely to wear shoulder safety belts incorrectly, having this type of seatbelt on buses could increase the chances of more injury.
The National Safety Council offers the following safety tips when riding a school bus:
· Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street.
· Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
· When being dropped off, exit the bus and walk ten giant steps away from the bus. Keep a safe distance between you and the bus. Also, remember that the bus driver can see you best when you are back away from the bus.
· Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.
· Stay away from the bus until the driver gives his/her signal that it’s okay to approach.
· Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses, however, not all do. Protect yourself and watch out!
The law firm of Lebowitz and Mzhen handles personal injury cases resulting from the negligence of another driver. If you live in the Maryland or Washington D.C. areas, and your child has been injured in a local bus accident, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen for a free consultation.
School bus, Car Collide In Sykesville, Baltimoresun.com, October 25, 2006
Bus Crash Renews Debate On Seat Belts, Washingtonpost.com, April 19, 2005
Recent School Bus Accidents Revive Call For Seat Belts, USA Today.com, April 9, 2005
Back To School Safety Tips, NSC.org
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