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When children are injured on a school bus

Parents place an inherent trust in the school systems in which they send their children. They rely upon teachers to gently guide their children through their days, encouraging them to love to learn. They rely upon the principals and administrators to enforce the rules and to create a safe yet fun environment for all children who go there. They also rely upon the bus drivers to transport their children to and from school safely each day.

Perhaps there's nothing more devastating than that phone call from school saying that something is wrong with your child. In Denver, thousands of parents place their children on the bus each day, hoping that nothing will happen. But the reality is, there are risks to riding on the bus to school. Children can, and do, get injured on their way to and from school. It's important for parents to recognize how they can prevent those injuries from occurring, and also that they know what to do in the event of an unforeseen circumstance.

What are the risks of riding the bus to school?

As with any form of transportation, there are risks to riding the bus to school. These are some of the most common risks to children on the bus:

  • Injuries as a result of vehicular accidents — According to Stanford Children's Health, approximately 40 percent of all school bus injuries result from motor vehicle accidents. When another vehicle on the road is involved in an accident with a school bus, it can put all of the children on the bus at risk. Thankfully, school buses have been designed to protect children in the event of an accident. The majority of these injuries are minor, ranging from scrapes and bruises to minor sprains or muscle strains.
  • Injuries while riding the bus — While riding on the bus, children must follow the rules in order to stay safe and avoid injury. However, as is common with children, many take to playful roughhousing or even purposeful fighting. While anti-bullying programs are prevalent in many communities today, there is still a significant number of children who are injured by other students while riding the bus. 
  • Injuries while getting on or off the bus — There are strict laws requiring all vehicles to stop on both sides of the roadway when children are getting on and off the bus, but injuries still occur. Whether it's the result of a motor vehicle accident or from a slip-and-fall, children can easily suffer an injury while trying to get from the bus to their home.

How can you prevent school bus injuries to children?

Nearly 23.5 million children across the country ride the school bus on a daily basis. This is an overwhelming number of children, and it's critical to take every precaution necessary to keep them safe.

One of the best ways to prevent school bus injuries is for parents to play an active role in advocating for bus safety. Parents should review all rules and procedures with their children, so that they know how to behave when they are on the bus and what they should do if they are injured while riding. In addition, parents are encouraged to wait with their children at the bus stop and to be there to pick them up at the end of the day. This prevents children from walking into oncoming traffic, from accidentally walking into the blind spot of the bus driver and from falling as they get off the bus.

Drivers also need to recognize their role in keeping children safe on the bus. Drivers should use extreme caution when driving through neighborhoods, and adhere to all laws regarding stopping for the buses. In addition, drivers should drive slowly and carefully when near a school bus in order to avoid a collision. 

To learn more about school bus injuries and what you should do if your child is injured while riding the school bus, contact our Denver law firm today to speak to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. 

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