A recent bus accident in St. Lucie left 15 children injured and one dead. After the St. Lucie tragedy, many South Florida parents are left wondering, "Is my child safe on the bus?"
Although the St. Lucie school bus accident is the stuff of parental nightmares, fatal school bus accidents are rare. Most school bus accidents are minor and involve little or no injury to children. In fact, according to West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer David Glatthorn, school buses are the safest form of transportation for children going to and from school.
Consider this. Out of the 26 million children age 5 to 18 that ride school buses, only about five die in school bus accidents each year. But, an average of 800 school-aged children die in car crashes during regular school hours.
Why are school buses so safe?
- School buses must meet 37 federal safety standards, more than any other type of vehicle.
- School bus roofs are built to withstand Florida rollover accidents without buckling.
- The sides of Florida buses are reinforced to withstand severe side impacts.
- School buses are larger and heavier than most other vehicles; in a Florida traffic accident, the lighter vehicle will usually sustain most of the damage. Most fatal school bus crashes involve collisions with larger vehicles. Previous fatal school bus crashes in South Florida involved a train and a citrus truck.
- The closely spaced seats in school buses create compartments that protect passengers.
- Seat backs on school buses are high, well-padded, and designed to absorb energy.
- School bus brakes are designed to allow drivers to stop at a shorter distance than other large vehicles.
- Mirrors on school buses are designed to minimize blind spots.
- Fuel tanks are protected to prevent fuel spills and leaks in an accident.
- School bus drivers must undergo additional training before driving.
Some say that the St. Lucie crash is a testimonial to the safety of school buses. The St. Lucie school bus turned into the path of a tractor-trailer. If a car or van were hit in a similar accident, there would be no survivors.
However, any child death is one death too many. The St. Lucie accident may have been due to driver inattention, and parents have a right to feel angry. If your child was injured in a school bus accident in Florida, you have the right to seek accountability. To learn more, order a free copy of The Florida Accident Workbook: Tools, Tips & Tactics to Resolve Your Injury Claim, or contact West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer David Glatthorn at 888-340-2620.