It’s back to school time this week for most Orange County school districts. This is a great reminder to slow down around school zones to avoid accidents, watch for kids on bikes, and observe the walking activity around schools. September 19th to 25th, 2010 is Children’s Safety Week and an Orange County injury lawyer has composed a series of articles to keep your children safe. Installing car seats correctly, wearing helmets while biking, and school bus safety are three major safety concerns for children that frequently result in accidents and injuries if not properly addressed.
Last week a school bus carrying over 80 kids crashed here in Orange County. According to the California Highway Patrol, the school bus had just picked up the students at the intersection of Mira Loma and Lawrence avenues in Anaheim when the driver of a Toyota Tundra crashed into it. Fortunately, few kids were injured. In another recent bus accident, seventeen school children in Fresno, California were injured when their bus driver crashed into a tree while backing up. Both accidents are under investigation
One quarter of school bus accidents, explains an Orange County injury lawyer, occur while the children are boarding or leaving the bus area. Another 50% of injuries are directly related to crashes while travelling on the bus and the other 25% are generally slips and falls, getting jostled when buses stop or turn suddenly, and from roughhousing.
Nationwide school bus-related accidents have sent over 17,000 children to emergency rooms each year. Over 1500 fatalities have occurred over the last two decades. However, some statistics can be misleading due to the fact that reported injury accidents with school buses are only recorded if the bus is transporting children to or from school. For example, if the school bus is on a field trip, the accident is not calculated in the school bus accident statistics for that state.
Overall, though, it is still a safe alternative, and now with the addition of seatbelts in most buses, it is even safer. California is one of only five states in the nation to pass restraint laws for buses.
If your child does ride a bus, share a few school bus safety tips with them to make the trip even more enjoyable:
- Be aware of the area called the “danger zone” or otherwise known as the driver’s blind spot. This is the 10-foot area in front of the bus, and on either side, where the driver has a blind spot. Tragically over 2/3 of children’s fatalities are caused by their own bus running them over. Many new buses have wider windows for better viewing and door arms to help protect the kids.
- Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before boarding and exiting the bus.
- Never stand while the bus is in motion. Like in a car, stay seated with your belt on.
Additional information on back to school safety and subjects relevant to personal injury law is available to the public free of charge. To request an article or book, or to speak with an Orange County injury lawyer, feel free to call 1-888-834 5055.
Keywords: Orange County injury lawyer, accidents, school bus safety