A 12-year-old Swain Middle School student was struck and seriously injured Sept. 23 after getting off a school bus and running into the path of a northbound Mercedes-Benz, the Palm Beach Post reports.
As our West Palm Beach pedestrian accident attorneys have noted in an early post to our South Florida Injury Lawyer blog, school bus accidents are most common during the start of the school year and most school-bus related fatalities involve pedestrian accidents. In fact, on average, 14 out of 19 school transportation-related crashes annually claim the lives of school-age child pedestrians who are most frequently killed between 3 and 4 p.m.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that most fatalities involving school transportation happen when students are getting on or off the bus and enter the 10-ft. “danger zone” encircling a bus. The NHTSA offers a few tips to making school bus travel safer for students:
~ Students need to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N and focus on their surroundings when they are getting on and off a bus. Students should never assume the bus driver or other motorists are waiting for them to act.
~ Students should NEVER bend down to retrieve an item (book-bag, jacket, lunchbox, etc.) dropped while getting on or off a bus.
~ Students should always board or disembark from a bus individually. Getting on or off a bus is not a group activity.
~ Teach students to make eye contact with the bus driver before getting on the bus and to stop and look both ways before getting off a bus.
~ Teach students about the five-step zone that surrounds a school bus where neither bus drivers nor fellow motorists can spot a child.
~ Teach students to NEVER walk or run from the edge of a bus or from beyond the “danger zone” without first stopping and looking in all directions. That only when the road is clear and the bus driver indicates it is safe should a student cross and enter a roadway.
Click here for a safety video to view with your children.
The West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at Freeman & Mallard know that following and enforcing these few simple tips can help prevent a serious or fatal traffic accident involving a school-age young person and we encourage you to share these tips with your family. But, in many cases an at-fault driver caused a collision with a child by failing to stop for a school bus. We have seen the traumatic effects of such accidents and have a proven record of aggressively representing injury victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.