Preventing School Bus-Pedestrian Accidents
In August of this year, a 9-year-old girl was struck by a car when leaving her school bus. The girl was on the crosswalk when she was struck, and the bus had been stopped with its red flashing lights activated. While her injuries were not life-threatening, the girl did suffer a broken pelvis, a broken clavicle, and numerous bruises.
Jurisdictions across the country have stepped-up efforts to prevent these accidents from happening. School buses have been equipped with flashing lights, arms that extend from the front of the bus and stop signs that extend from the side of the bus. Traffic laws have been updated to prohibit passing stopped school buses and penalties have been increased to encourage drivers to obey the law. Unfortunately, these tragic accidents continue to happen.
Know the Law
First and foremost, it is important to understand what the law requires when it comes to stopped school buses. Under Maryland law, drivers must stop anytime there is a stopped school bus in the following circumstances:
- You are traveling in the same direction as the school bus, regardless of how many lanes there are.
- You are traveling in the opposite direction as the school bus, and there is no physical median between your side of the road and the side of the road that the bus is on.
- You must stop at least 20 feet from the bus regardless of which direction you are approaching the bus.
Slow Down and Pay Attention
Just because the stop sign isn’t out or the lights aren’t flashing, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t children present. Children can be unpredictable and dash out into traffic for any number of reasons. Even if you are not breaking any laws, no one wants to be responsible for injuring or killing a child. As a result, slow down and pay careful attention any time you see a stopped school bus.
Yellow Means Stop
Unless you cannot stop safely, you should begin your stop once the bus turns on its yellow lights. Waiting until they are red to stop encourages other drivers to keep driving or even worse, accelerate in order to avoid having to stop. This is how accidents happen.
If Your Child Has Been Injured in a Bus Accident
You need to act quickly if your child has been injured in a bus accident. Their injuries could threaten their education and limit their future opportunities. An experienced bus accident lawyer can help you get the compensation your child needs to make a full recovery and protect their future.
Call Bus Accident Attorney Thomas E. Pyles Today
Thomas E. Pyles and his team have decades of experience in helping accident victims and their families rebuild their lives after an accident. If your child has been injured in a bus accident, we can help – call us at 301-705-5006 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.