Every morning, millions of children leave their homes and head for the school bus stop. In the afternoon, the process is repeated in reverse, where children are dropped off at their designated stops and head home. There are many factors that go into the design of each school bus stop in school districts across the country, with the safety of children the primary focus for all stops.
Tragically, children are still at risk of being injured or killed at school bus stop accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2007 and 2016, there were almost 300 school-age children killed in school-transportation accidents.
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Just last month, there were six school bus stop accidents in one week in four different states that left five children dead and another seven young victims seriously injured:
Indiana: A 9-year-old girl and her six-year-old twin brothers were struck and killed as they crossed the street to their school bus stop. The 24-year-old woman driving the pickup truck that killed the children was arrested on three counts of felony reckless homicide and misdemeanor passing a school bus with the arm extended. Another child was seriously injured in the accident and had to be airlifted to the hospital.
Mississippi: A 9-year-old boy was struck and killed by a vehicle as he crossed the road to get on the school bus. The driver has been charged with aggravated assault
Florida: A 5-year-old boy was crossing the street to board his school bus and was hit by a vehicle. The 19-year-old driver, who was cited for the incident, claimed he didn’t see the school bus was stopped with arm extended until it was too late.
Pennsylvania: A 7-year-old boy was struck and killed by a hit and run driver. The young child’s body was discovered on the side of the road, by his home. The bus driver discovered the boy’s body.
Kentucky: Another hit and run occurred in Kentucky when two brothers – ages 11 and 13 – were crossing the street to get to their bus stop.
Florida: Five children and two adults were seriously injured – one critically – when a car plowed into the school bus stop the victims were waiting at. Three of the victims are 6 years of age, one is 9, and one is 12.
Keeping Children Safe
In most school bus accidents, the danger to children is not while they are in the school bus but is instead before or after they are on the vehicle. Other vehicle drivers not paying attention, speeding, and ignoring other traffic laws are the cause for most of these tragedies. It is important for parents to share these safety tips with their children to help keep them from being injured in a school bus stop accident.
- Make sure your child is aware they should always stay at least six feet from the curb and traffic while waiting for their bus. Show them the spot where they should stand.
- If your child must cross the street in order to board their bus, make sure your child is aware that they should never cross the street behind the bus. Explain how they should always cross approximately 10 feet away from the front of the bus, but that they should never cross until the bus driver has given them a sign that they see them.
- Provide daily reminders for children that they should never walk toward the bus until it has come to a full stop, the doors are open, and the bus driver has told them it is okay to board.
Let a Virginia Accident Attorney Advocate for Your Child
School bus accident claims can be complex, especially when there are other vehicles involved. You could be dealing with school districts, private bus companies that are contracted by the municipality to transport children, and the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
A skilled Virginia school bus accident attorney will be able to investigate the accident and determine what the best legal course of action is. At Shapiro & Appleton, our legal team works diligently for each client to make sure they receive the best possible outcome for their injury case and would be happy to meet and discuss how we can help your family. Call us 800-752-0042 today at for a free case evaluation.