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School Bus Accidents: Who Is at Fault?

Posted on in School Bus Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois bus accident lawyer,Among the many types of public transit crashes that take place throughout the state, school bus accidents are among some of the most common bus-related accidents to happen on Illinois roadways. Research by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) has shown that school buses, when compared with other transit buses, such as intercity and charter buses, are struck more often. More importantly, fatal school bus crashes were recorded in 36 different states, and out of all those states, Illinois happened to be one of the most common states for school-bus related collisions. Other common hot spots for these types of collisions included New York, Florida, California, and Texas.

Are Bus Drivers at Fault? While these alarming research findings clearly target school buses as risky modes of transportation, they are not merely a reflection of school bus drivers and the quality of their operating skills. In fact, school bus drivers were actually found to be some of the safest drivers on the roads. The same study has shown that out of 120 school bus drivers involved in fatal car crashes, almost 91 percent of them had no previous moving convictions. Additionally, 91 drivers out of those 120 had no previous accidents on their records. Daniel Blower, UMTRI’s director of the Center for National Truck and Bus Statistics, stated that, “School bus operators tend to have among the best prior driver records and among the lowest probabilities of having committed a driving error that contributed to the crash.” Blower also called school bus crash fatalities “an artifact of exposure.” He emphasized the point that the number of school bus collisions is likely linked to other factors, such as the number of school buses operating on the roadways, rather than a result of driver error. The Real Danger So, if school bus drivers are generally good drivers with clean records, who is really to blame for the number of accidents we see on Illinois roadways each year? The UMTRI study indicated that school buses are typically hit by other vehicles, and are therefore collateral due to someone else’s negligence. Rear-end collisions and drivers hitting buses head on in oncoming traffic were found to be some of the most common causes for school bus accidents. Other documented fatal crashes involved other drivers sideswiping buses while invading their lanes.

School bus accidents are troubling, especially when you or a loved one are involved in the incident. If your child has been injured in a school bus crash, you need to speak with an experienced Lake County car accident attorney to ensure your rights are protected. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://stnonline.com/conferences/webinars/item/3415-university-research-compares-school-bus-safety-with-other-bus-modes

http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Documents/FactBook/APTA_2011_Fact_Book.pdf
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