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Cook County school bus accident lawyerOn Wednesday, December 5th, 2018, a school bus was struck by a commercial truck that was heading the wrong direction on I-74, south of Bloomington. The bus was carrying the Normal Community West High School girls’ basketball team. A 72-year-old volunteer was fatally injured in the accident, but fortunately, none of the student athletes suffered severe injuries in the collision. The accident reminded parents throughout the state of Illinois of the real possibility of their child’s school bus colliding with another vehicle. Every parent worries about the safety of their children, and if tragedy strikes, and your child is involved in a school bus accident, you should contact a legal team that will support you and your family in your time of need. 

School Bus Fatality Statistics

When our children ride a school vehicle, we put our trust in the school and the bus driver to take care of our children. Sadly, school bus accidents are more common than most of us would like to believe. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyzed school vehicle fatalities from 2004 to 2013. In that time period, more than 1,200 Americans were fatally injured in these types of accidents. Every year, approximately 134 people die in these tragic accidents throughout the United States. 

School Bus Injuries and Causes

Due to the fact that students riding in school buses are not mandated to wear seatbelts, they can suffer incredibly serious injuries in a collision. Common school bus injuries include severe spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and broken bones. If your child is involved in a school bus accident, it is possible that the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver or the school district. School bus collisions can occur if a driver chooses to drive recklessly, such as by traveling at excessive speeds or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Accidents can also be caused by improper vehicle maintenance. 

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school bus accidents, Waukegan personal injury attorney, school-transportation crashes, public transit accidentsIn the span of one week, two Englewood bus accidents have reminded Chicagoans of the reality of public transit accidents. On Saturday, March 3, a negligent driver collided with a CTA bus early in the morning, and suffered fatal injuries. Less than one week later, six CTA bus passengers suffered injuries in another Englewood collision, as a white SUV collided with the Englewood bus on Wednesday, March 7. The collision directed the passenger bus into a tree before ultimately forcing the bus off the road and then colliding with a CTA bus stop shelter.

While the two instances were unrelated, the accidents serve as a reminder that bus collisions occur more regularly than many of us would assume. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, upwards of a 1,000 motor coach accidents occurred between the five year span between 2005 and 2010. In those accidents, over 500 passengers suffered injuries that required hospitalization, and just under 10 percent proved fatal.

If you or a loved one are injured in a passenger bus accident, you may have a number of legal avenues to pursue. Please contact our experienced Waukegan personal injury team today.

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Illinois injury attorney, Illinois school bus accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,Although school bus crashes are fairly infrequent, their catastrophic capabilities make them greatly concerning. Not only are they able to cause harm to several victims all at once, victims are also at an increased risk for serious injury. As such, parents should know how to protect their children, and their family’s financial future, should a school bus crash ever happen to their child.

How Big Is the Risk?

Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that bus crash incidents and fatalities have been steadily decreasing over the last several years. However, there are still some 234 incidents that result in fatality each year. There are also many others that result in non-fatal injuries to passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists. Further, each incident has the potential to harm dozens of people. An example is a crash which took place this past winter in Chattanooga, which killed six children and injured several others. The bus driver is currently being held on charges of vehicular homicide and was allegedly responsible for the crash.

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Posted on in School Bus Accidents
Illinois accident attorney, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois car crash lawyer,Although statistics show school buses to be relatively safe modes of transportation compared to other kinds of vehicles, the area around them is not always so safe. In fact, the zones surrounding our children’s buses are often the sites of tragic school bus accident injuries and fatalities.  While child passenger fatalities are rare (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that an average of six school-age children die as passengers each year), accidents that are related to school transportation, in general, are still significant in number. School Bus Crashes Affect More than Just Bus Passengers Children riding our community school buses are not the only ones injured by bus-related collisions. More recent crash data from the NHTSA shows that 8 percent of the 134 people who die annually due to school-bus-related incidences are riding in the buses, while pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers represent 21 percent of the overall related fatalities. This means those walking, biking, and driving around bus zone areas are at risk everyday when commuting on our Illinois roadways. The Proper Way to Navigate School Bus Zones When navigating around school buses, drivers must abide by certain laws set forth by the state. The Illinois State Police remind us of the following:
  • When a school bus has its stop signal arm extended and is in the process of loading or unloading children, it is unlawful to pass the bus.
  • When the stop signal arm is extended, your vehicle must come to a complete stop before passing from either direction - simply slowing down is not enough.
  • The only exception that allows drivers permission to continue driving when approaching a school bus is when they are operating their vehicle on a highway with four or more lanes, where there are at least two lanes of traffic in either direction.
  • If you are driving in the opposite direction of the bus, the requirement to stop does not apply.
  • In general, be alert and cautious when approaching a bus. Children often play and congregate along the edges of the sidewalks surrounding the bus and near or on the street. As you roll to a stop, the moments you approach the bus from the side or from behind are critical.

Under Illinois law, a person's license can be suspended from three months to one year if they pass a stopped school bus, and they can also be fined anywhere from $100 to $500 if convicted. If you or your child has been injured in a school-bus related collision in the state of Illinois, make sure you speak with a knowledgeable Lake County car accident attorney today to ensure you are armed with the resources you need to properly defend your case in a court of law. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 for a special consultation.

Sources:

http://www.isp.state.il.us/media/pressdetails.cfm?ID=15

https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-buses

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/09/15/school-bus-safety-statistics/72318198/
Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois school bus accident lawyer,Every fall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that around twenty-three million students nationwide depend on school buses for regular transportation to and from school. Although school bus accidents do happen while traveling on the roadways, for the most part, a majority of bus collisions are due to children walking to and from the bus. Only a portion of reported accidents are actually due to buses being in motion and colliding with other vehicles. This is why the NHTSA, teachers, and communities as a whole harp so extensively on the need for school bus education for both drivers and students. Key Prevention Tips So, what are the most important rules of thumb for those sharing the road with students taking the bus to school everyday? What can you do as a parent, neighbor, and citizen to ensure our youth is safe as they travel to and from campuses each day? Basic driver awareness can go a long away. Keep the following five safety tips in mind as you operate your vehicle on the roadways this school season: 1. Pay attention to the driveway. Preventing school bus accidents begins from the moment you put your car in reverse to back out of your driveway to leave for work or school in the morning. Be sure to check your mirrors and look behind you before you exit your garage. It is easy to miss children walking or bicycling to school on the sidewalks and streets as you hurry to leave the house. 2.  Watch your speed. This seems like an obvious one, but all too often drivers who are not mindful of their speed end up missing school bus “STOP” signs or fail to see children congregating around sidewalks and bus stops as they wait for their bus to arrive. Slow down and remain vigilant, especially before and after school hours. 3.  Watch for groups and gatherings. When children get together in groups or gather around bus stops, street corners, and along sidewalks, they often dart out into the street to play or veer into traffic when they are distracted by one another. Exercise extra caution when you spot these gatherings by slowing down and practicing defensive driving. 4. Understand the system. Familiarize yourself with the flashing signal light system and the standard state school bus laws. In general, when you see yellow flashing lights on the bus, this means the bus is about to stop and load or unload children. If the lights are flashing red, an extended arm that says “Stop” appears, indicating that children are in the process of getting on or off. When the lights are red, you are required to bring your vehicle to a complete stop until the sign and lights disappear. 5. Keep your distance. When you approach a school bus, always allow a safe distance between your vehicle and the bus. At times, children will dart around the back of the bus or run around the sides, making it difficult to anticipate and react quickly behind the wheel. Keeping a safe distance between you and the bus is one simple, surefire way to help prevent needless accident and injury.

If you child has been injured in a school bus related collision, make sure you speak with a qualified Lake County car accident attorney right away. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 for a personal consultation.

Source:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/buses/kidsschoolbus_en.html
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