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Pennsylvania strives to prevent school bus accidents

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Due to redistricting in several Pennsylvania school districts, many children are now required to ride a bus.  Because of the increased numbers of buses and heavier traffic conditions, the risk of being involved in serious bus accidents are likely much higher than in decades past. In spite of the efforts to ensure safe transportation for all parties, not every accident can be prevented.

The commonwealth places a high priority on the safety of students as they are being bussed back and forth to school during the week. It re-issues informational pamphlets on a regular basis to ensure that parents, students, drivers and other motorists are aware of the laws and guidelines that regulate the use of these large vehicles. It also reviews the traffic laws that apply to how other motorists are required to react when encountering a school bus that is transporting children.

Along with the rules geared toward motorists, there are regular reminders to the students and their families regarding the safest methods of waiting for the bus each day as well as safe boarding and disembarking behaviors. Students are also reminded about the expected behaviors while on the bus in order to allow the driver to concentrate on his or her driving. In addition, drivers are also reminded of the necessity of refreshing their knowledge of emergency procedures and the need to regularly strive to improve their safe driving skills.

Unfortunately, no amount of preparations and information can prevent these bus accidents. Both bus drivers and other motorists can engage in behaviors and make decisions that put the well-being of students in jeopardy. When a Pennsylvania family is forced to undergo the terrible ordeal of having a loved one injured in one of these accidents, they may also be forced to endure mounting medical expenses as well as related monetary damages possibly caused by time off work to care for an injured loved one. These families are entitled to pursue personal injury suits against the parties deemed responsible for their physical injuries and financial losses.

Source: penndot.gov, "School bus safety", Accessed on Aug. 8, 2017

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