Four Trantwood Elementary School students spent several hours in a Virginia Beach, VA hospital after the bus carrying them home at the end of the day on December 19, 2014, crashed with a car on London Bridge Road. The collision near the intersection with Potters Road happened when the driver of the smaller vehicle changed lanes suddenly in order to attempt a left-hand turn and clipped the school bus. All the school kids are expected to recover.
Police have charged the person behind the wheel of the car with making an unsafe lane change. More broadly than illustrating the importance of checking blind spots and avoiding sudden changes in direction while driving in traffic, however, this accident on the last day of school before the two-week winter break shows how much school children depend on everyone on the road to stay safe and healthy.
Drivers of cars, trucks, tractor-trailers, construction vehicles and even motorcycles crash into school buses with alarming frequency. Worse, children waiting for or exiting from buses are at even higher risk for getting injured or killed than are kids riding in buses. The National Transportation Safety Board reported that during 2012, 55 occupants of school buses died in accidents and 119 pedestrians lost their lives in what the agency defines as "school-transportation-related crashes."
Every time a driver cuts around a stopped bus, tries to beat a bus to the next corner or traffic signal, or follows a bus too closely, that negligent and possibly reckless driver puts young people's lives at unnecessary risk. While the accident in Virginia Beach could have been much worse, the undeniable fact remains that it need not have occurred at all.
My Virginia Beach-based personal injury colleagues and I hope the kids from Trantwood Elementary spend the holidays in full health and free from pain or complications resulting from their needless injuries.