School Bus Accident Lawyers Kentucky
School buses carry our most valuable cargo – our children. Although school bus accidents are rare, they have the potential to seriously injure or kill those parents entrust school districts to transport. Whether a school bus struck your vehicle or a bus accident injured your child, Satterley & Kelley, PLLC, can help you and your family receive fair compensation for injuries.
Are School Buses Safe?
Although accidents happen, statistically, your child is safer going to school in a bus than in your vehicle, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
How Many Kids Use School Buses?
There were about 480,000 school buses of one type or another used in the US in the 2018-2019 school year, according to the NSC. About 23 million elementary and secondary school students ride to and from school daily.
How Many People are Injured or Killed in School Bus Accidents?
In 2020, school bus-related accidents killed 54 people in the US. The NSC reports this number was 50% higher in 2019. The change may be due to many schools shutting down during the COVID-19 pandemic, so there were far fewer school bus trips and passengers.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that from 1990 to 2000:
- School bus passengers suffered 10,228 incapacitating injuries
- There were 78,753 non-incapacitating or possible injuries by passengers
From 2011 to 2020, of fatalities caused in school bus-related accidents:
- 70% were occupants of other vehicles
- 16% were pedestrians
- 5% were school bus passengers
- 5% were school bus drivers
- 3% were cyclists
The breakdown of those injured in school bus-related crashes from 2011 to 2020 is:
- 54% occupants of other vehicles
- 33% bus passengers
- 8% bus drivers
- 5% pedestrians, cyclists, others, or unknown
- 64% were struck by school buses or vehicles functioning as school buses. In half the cases, these vehicles were driving straight ahead
- 36% were struck by other vehicles
The cause could be bus drivers being distracted and not making sure the children are clear of the bus before moving. Drivers of other vehicles may also be inattentive or ignore the warning lights on the stopped bus.
What Leads to School Bus Accidents?
Most accidents are caused by driver mistakes, whether they’re driving buses or other vehicles. Defects or dangers of the bus cause other crashes. They include improper maintenance, defective systems, and missed or improperly performed repairs.
- Be distracted by their smartphones or the students on the bus
- Speed and travel faster than what’s safe for conditions, making stopping and taking turns potentially hazardous
- Poorly judge other traffic and make unsafe turns
- Not see other vehicles in their blindspots and steer into them when changing lanes or turning
Though size varies, school buses can be up to 35 feet long and weigh 36,000 pounds when fully loaded. The fewer the kids onboard, the lighter the bus, the worse it will handle on wet or slippery roads. The more kids on the bus, the more they may cause a distraction to the driver.
Like the rest of the country, Kentucky faces a school bus driver shortage. School districts may resort to employing less qualified drivers than they have in the past. As older drivers retire, younger, less experienced ones may replace them.
A study published in 2013 looked at data from 1999 to 2008 on accidents in Alberta, Canada. Researchers found that, compared to other types of buses, school bus accidents are more likely to:
- Occur in rural areas
- Involve rear-end collisions by other vehicles or backing maneuvers
- Occur more on snowy road surfaces
- Happen at intersections with stop or yield signs
- Occur when drivers are under 25 or over 65 years old
When a client retains us in a school bus accident case, we thoroughly investigate the crash to determine the cause and who may be responsible. This is time-consuming and involves documents from the school system, entities responsible for repairing or maintaining the bus, and the local police department investigation.
We may also retain an expert to reconstruct the accident, determine who’s responsible, and testify about their conclusions.
Speak To a School Bus Accident Lawyer Today
Whether you or your child is injured in Kentucky as a school bus passenger or your vehicle was struck by a school bus, our law firm can and will help you handle legal matters with confidence.
Put boots on the ground with help from Satterley & Kelley PLLC. To schedule a free initial consultation at our Louisville law office, call 502-589-5600 (toll-free at 855-385-9532) or complete our contact form today.
Please visit our truck accident page for more detailed information on our capabilities.