On January 10, NBC 10 Philly reported a school bus collided with a commuter bus on Route 9 in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Seven were injured in this bus crash, which is one of several accidents that have occurred involving school buses in recent months.
Our Philadelphia injury attorneys want parents to be aware of the potential dangers of school bus accidents that could affect their children. School districts need to take appropriate safety measures to ensure that their drivers are carefully screened and that their buses are properly maintained in order to prevent kids from being injured.
School Bus Accidents Put Kids at Risk
The January school bus accident in New Jersey fortunately occurred when the mini school bus was empty, which likely reduced the number of injuries significantly. The Academy commuter bus, however, had passengers on board and at least seven people were taken to the hospital with injuries after the crash.
According to NBC 10 Philly, the accident scene revealed that the school bus had been flipped on its side while the Academy Bus slammed into a tree and had its roof punctured by a branch. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.
This crash comes just a few short months after another incident reported by NBC 10 Philadelphia. In November of 2012, a school bus crashed into a tree on Garden State Parkway, injuring 33. Accident reports indicated that a wheel had detached from the rear of the bus in this incident, although investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the crash.
Another incident in February of 2012 was even more serious. NBC 10 Philly in this case reported that an elementary school student died in a New Jersey accident when a school bus and dump truck collided.
Protecting Kids with Increased School Bus Safety
These three recent incidents in just a short time period all underscore the importance of protecting children on school buses and ensuring that kids are as safe as they can be. School districts, school bus companies and parents all have a role to play in protecting kids on school buses. For example:
- Parents should require their kids to use the seat belts available on school buses. They should inquire with school districts as to their safety procedures and hiring policies in buses and put pressure on districts who are lax on safety.
- Bus companies must take steps to ensure buses are adequately maintained and that problems are corrected promptly. Strict hiring criteria should be used to ensure that school bus drivers are imminently qualified and company policies should include drug testing as well as prohibitions on driving while talking on cell phones.
- School districts should ensure that their busing providers are meeting or exceeding minimum accepted safety standards.
School bus accidents are always tragic and it is ultimately the job of the school district and bus company to keep kids safe on the bus. If a child is injured in a crash, the district or bus company could potentially be held legally liable.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident in Philadelphia, Bucks County or anywhere in Pennsylvania, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Flager & Associates. Call us at 1-215-953-5200.