Safety matters, especially when it comes to our kids. We often trust school systems, daycares, and extracurricular programs to keep our kids safe, whether inside a building or transported by a bus or passenger van. However, the news is full of unfortunate stories involving bus accidents. These types of accidents are dangerous, tragic, and complicated to settle. That’s why having accident attorneys like the ones at the King Law Firm on your side ensures you’re fairly compensated for your injuries. What causes these accidents? Below, we discuss the most common causes of bus accidents in Florida.
Failure to Follow Bus Traffic Rules
Being unaware or intentionally disobeying bus traffic laws is one of the most common causes of bus accidents. Drivers unfortunately don’t follow the laws regarding stopping for buses, endangering bus passengers, drivers of other vehicles, and nearby pedestrians. FLHSMV details the traffic laws regarding school buses here. These laws require drivers to stop on both sides of a road when there is no median or barrier present once a school bus’ stop sign is activated. Drivers must wait until the stop sign is retracted before proceeding. When drivers break these rules, they can cause crashes with serious injuries. Florida Statute 316.0815 also requires drivers to yield to public transportation traveling in the same direction when attempting to reenter the flow of traffic.
Unfortunately, not all bus-related injuries or fatalities involve the bus itself. Crashes with fatalities often occur when students are waiting for the bus, entering or exiting the bus, or using another method (like a bike or skateboard) to go to school.
One of the top reasons for traffic accidents is speeding, which poses an even greater risk for individuals sharing the road with bus drivers and other motorists. It’s important to prioritize safety and follow speed limits to prevent accidents and keep everyone on the road safe.
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of all traffic accidents, so it’s logical that it would be one of the leading causes of bus accidents. Drivers can become distracted when using cell phones, texting while driving, or tending to pets or young children. Weather can also play a role in distracting drivers, including low visibility from fog, rain, or darkness.
Florida Statute 1012.45 specifies the requirements for bus drivers, such as having a valid Commercial Driver’s License and being in good physical condition. Individual school districts, daycare centers, and activity programs may have additional driver requirements and specifications. When these requirements aren’t followed, or exceptions are made to get more drivers on the road faster, the risk of accidents increases. Regular car drivers unfamiliar with regulations regarding stopping for school buses can also cause accidents due to inexperience.
How to Prevent Bus Accidents in Florida
Following all traffic laws while driving is the best way to prevent bus accidents. This includes traveling at or below the posted speed limit, limiting distractions, using turn signals, and turning on headlights when appropriate. Statistically, buses are safer than walking or driving a car, so just a few simple precautions can help prevent more accidents in the future.
King Law Firm: Bus Accident Attorneys
Between 2012 and 2021, 70% of fatalities from school bus-related accidents were drivers and passengers of other cars. When bus accidents occur, they can be devastating and complicated. Our team at The King Law Firm can handle your Ocala bus accident complex injury cases in Florida such as bus accident cases. We have the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to help ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us at 352-269-1814 for a free consultation.