Every day, parents across the U.S. trust that their children are in good hands on buses going back and forth to school. In one South Carolina incident, it was only the quick thinking of a novice school bus driver that saved 40 children from a potentially fatal result. A Darlington County school bus was hit in a rear-end collision. Social media quickly filled with dramatic images of the bus engulfed in flames. The school bus driver was only in her second month on the job at the time of the accident. However, due to her calm response under pressure, no children were injured.
South Carolina Highway Patrol reported that a Buick hit the bus from behind and the car driver was later cited for speeding. As the bus driver described it afterwards, the bus was stopped at a train crossing when it was hit from behind. The bus driver, a former educator, stayed calm and quickly got all 40 children off the bus just as one child noted that the bus was starting to smoke. None of the children were injured and they were able to get a safe distance away in a nearby field as the bus burned. The school superintendent commended the driver for her heroic actions and commented that their district runs through mandatory bus evacuation drills twice yearly. The bus driver also noted that the evacuation of children went smoothly because they listened well and followed her instructions.
Evacuation drills and school bus safety are two important factors for protecting children who ride buses to school. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks auto accidents that include bus accidents. While they state that fewer than one percent of all traffic fatalities a year occur on school buses, accidents still happen. NHTSA officials work to regulate school bus safety, holding school buses to higher standards than regular passenger buses.
Bus accidents are more likely to occur when children are entering or leaving the bus in traffic, which is why emphasis is placed on school zones, visible flashing bus lights, and barrier arm systems to ensure children are as safe as possible in traffic. In addition, buses are designed to be crash-safe with features such as protective seat backs and rollover protection.
However, as every experienced driver knows, no crash protection system is foolproof. Driver error, road conditions, and distractions can still result in serious accidents and catastrophic injuries to those traveling on school buses. Auto accidents can have significant and long-lasting consequences and all victims deserve compensation for their medical treatment and financial needs. The assistance of an experienced car accident attorney committed to protecting victims’ rights can make a key difference in obtaining the full financial compensation to assist in your recovery.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Bus Accident Victims
If you or someone you know was injured in a car, truck, or bus accident, help is available. The Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. represent victims with care and skill in personal injury cases. For a free consultation, please contact us through our online form or call us at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623.
We represent clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.