School Bus Accidents In Georgia
No tragedy affects a family more than when a child is injured or killed in an accident. Sadly, this can sometimes happen going to or from school, or even on school grounds, especially if the school district is not careful enough in its hiring processes to ensure that children are kept safe.
Take, for example, school bus accidents, which happen far too frequently. These can sometimes lead to critical injuries; if there is litigation as a result, not only can the individual who is directly responsible for the accident be named in litigation, but also members of the board of education and, in some circumstances, secondary employers.
In 2020 alone, school bus accidents killed 54 people nationwide, and this wasn’t limited to individuals within the bus: 70 percent of those harmed in these crashes are in vehicles other than the bus, and almost 20 percent were pedestrians. 33 percent are the school bus passengers themselves.
Injury statistics are much higher, and can range from 10,000 to 25,000 per year. Historically, in Georgia, these incidents tend to occur in January – February and August – October.
Negligent Hiring Practices
When school employees are hired, those who hire them need to engage in due diligence to ensure that those employees are ‘safe’ to work at the school. This involves ensuring that negligence is not involved by ensuring, for example, that thorough background checks are done. If, for example, the bus driver works another shift with a different employer, and as a result, may not be completely awake for their driving shift, this can constitute negligence in that it can place children’s lives at risk. Failing to discover and account for information like this can exhibit a reckless disregard for the safety of school children.
Other Safety Practices
According to the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, although school buses tend to be safer for children than riding in cars, the following factors can strongly affect child safety in buses:
- Lap belts plus compartmentalization, or the protective space that is formed by strong, closely-spaced seats with high seat backs (on smaller school buses)
- Requiring lap belts (on large, new buses)
- The use of combination lap/shoulder belts (on both large and small school buses; although note that, when misused, they can also contribute to abdominal and/or neck injuries)
Macon, Georgia Accident & Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, it is critical that you speak with a personal injury attorney right away in order to ensure that any wrongs are made right in a just manner. Contact our Macon car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Buzzell, Welsh & Hill today to find out how we can be of assistance.