Archive for the ‘School Bus Accidents’ Category

School Bus Safety Tips For You And Your Family

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Once again it is that time of the year again. The Summer sun has now finally turned to the leaves of Fall and cooler temperatures are once again upon us. However, Fall can only mean another thing for students the end of days by the pool and the return to the classroom. School is just one of those things in life that we all have to deal with whether from the perspective of the student, or that of the parent. Yet, when it comes down to public transportation methods for students, such as school buses, are you and your child both update with safety tips you should know, and live by?

Understanding School Buses Inside And Out

School buses have always been known as the “big yellow cheese”, whether we rode them as children, or adults. Today, school buses now have the possibility of being updated greatly with safety belts, tinted windows for students, and even air conditioning units. However, contrary to that of the old days one thing certainly has not changed, which is that of accidents associated with school buses. When a school bus is out on the road performing its purpose of transporting students from one place to another we expect the school bus operator to be 100% safety conscious.

Safety and School Buses Go Hand In Hand

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. In order to make sure you, and your child are safe from school bus related accidents here are a few things you should know pertaining to that of school bus safety.

  • When a bus has stopped, and either has flashing lights, or a stop sign make sure to stop behind the bus and be patient. Students are exiting it.
  • Always be alert of school buses on the road and make sure that the driver can actually see you, and you understand the size of a school bus.
  • Remember when you see a school bus in residential areas to always go the school speed limit allotted in the zone in order to help keep everyone safe.

Remember, everyone has ridden a school bus at one point or another in their lives, and understand safety factors of it to some degree. However, when you, or your child are involved in a school bus related accident of any kind whether it was your fault, or not you need an experienced automobile accident attorney by your side every step of the way.

If you suffer any of these serious injuries because of an anesthesia mistake, our experienced Mississippi anesthesia medical malpractice lawyers are committed to assisting victims of substandard medical care obtain the financial compensation to rebuild their lives.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Federal Regulators’ Intensified Busing Inspections Reminds of Busing Accident Dangers

Friday, May 18th, 2012

With the summer tourism season approaching, federal and state regulators are cracking down on busing companies in an attempt to slow the rising wave of tour bus accidents involving rogue busing companies.  While the inspections are being conducted by federal regulators under the auspices of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 13 Eastern states and the District of Columbia, it is part of a more general movement to protect travelers from unsafe bus companies.

While school bus accidents are the most common form of busing accident in Mississippi, the crackdown in the wake of several fatal bus crashes involving tour buses in recent years highlights the risk when busing operators do not carefully monitor vehicle maintenance and screen or supervise drivers appropriately.  Federal inspections of buses have increased dramatically because of the wave of busing accidents in recent years from 12,991 to 25,705 between 2005-2010.  Federal regulators shut down 54 busing companies just last year because of safety violations involving the condition of the bus or driver related safety issues.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed additional safety measures including anti-rollover equipment.  Rollover accidents involving buses can be particularly deadly because bus occupants may be ejected from the bus and crushed underneath.  Even when bus occupants remain within the protective shell of the bus, seat belts or air bags do not protect occupants so they may be slammed against the roof or other hard surfaces within the bus.  The anti-rollover equipment being advocated by the NHTSA has proven effective in preventing vehicle rollover accidents involving passenger vehicles and small trucks.  The technology being proposed to prevent bus rollover accidents involves a computer system that monitors braking and adjusts brake pressure on individual wheels to compensate for hard steering maneuvers.

While busing accidents are less common than other forms of motor vehicle accidents, they can result in severe injury and wrongful death.  Bus accidents may occur because of the failure to properly maintain the bus, including tires and brakes.  These dangerous collisions may also result from inadequate screening of bus drivers who have prior driving violations or drug or alcohol abuse issues.  Other drivers may not be properly trained or supervised once hired by a busing company.

If you or someone you love suffers serious injury or a loved one dies in a Mississippi busing accident, you or your loved one may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.  Our experienced Mississippi busing accident attorneys at Barrett Law carefully investigate our clients’ cases so that we can construct the strongest legal position to obtain the recovery our clients need to rebuild.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Fatal Bus Accidents Prompt Review of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Audit Practices

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is facing hard questions regarding its safety audit practices following two recent fatal bus accidents including a crash involving a tour bus in New York resulting in the death of 15 passengers.  There are approximately 3,100 motor carriers in the U.S. and 433 currently are on “alert” status with the FMCSA that supervises truck and bus carriers.  An alert means that a spot inspection during the prior two year period revealed serious or repeated violations.  Despite the predominance of serious questions regarding almost 14% of motor carriers, over half of those who have an alert have not had a full safety audit during the last nine months.

The lax enforcement of safety standards both with regard to bus maintenance and driver safety practices means that more serious bus accidents are almost inevitable.  If you have been seriously injured in a serious Mississippi bus accident, our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers may be able to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.  Whether you are injured in a bus accident, taxi crash or on any other public transit accident, we will carefully investigate the cause of the accident and review past safety violations and/or accident reports.  We understand the importance of identifying all potential responsible parties so that we can obtain the best possible result in your Mississippi vehicle accident case.

The companies that own the tour buses involved in the two recent fatal bus crashes reveal the crux of the problem.  The company that owned the tour bus in the New York crash was World Wide Travel, which had an alert stemming from five separate violations of fatigued driver rules since May 2009.  Super Luxury Tours, which owned the bus involved in a recent Pennsylvania crash was cited for 33 violations since its last safety audits.  The majority of these violations were for violation of driver fatigue rules and speeding.

Buses are classified as “common carriers” under Mississippi law, which means that they have a heightened duty of care to protect their patrons.  These widespread safety violations suggest that many tour buses and other private charter bus companies may not be complying with the obligation to take extra care to protect those who ride buses.  This failure to comply with proper safety practices is particularly concerning because buses lack many of the safety measures that reduce the seriousness of injuries in other motor vehicle accidents including seat belts and air bags.

In the wake of the recent tragic accidents, the FMCSA is reviewing their safety enforcement practices to determine how to better enforce full audits when alerts are issued against a busing carrier.  Unfortunately, almost 25 percent of all motor carriers have not had a full safety audit during the last three years.  We can only hope that the recent fatal bus accidents may promote changes that make all of us who ride buses in Mississippi safer.  If you are seriously injured in a Mississippi bus accident, our experienced Mississippi bus accident lawyers are prepared to fight for you.

How Safe Are Mississippi School Buses?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

There has been a great deal of concern lately about the safety of Mississippi’s school buses that transport our children to and from school each day. These concerns stem from the fatal Mississippi school bus accident involving an Ackerman High School bus that collided with a tractor-trailer head on, killing three people and injuring thirteen others in February.  The school bus driver was killed along with a teacher who was sitting in back of the driver and a student who was sitting near the front of the school bus.  If your child has been suffered serious injury in a Mississippi school bus accident, our experienced Mississippi school bus accident attorneys diligently represent those injured in Mississippi bus accidents.

Following the school bus accident, all of Mississippi’s public school buses were individually inspected to address school bus safety issues that were involved in this recent tragic Mississippi bus accident. All of the school buses passed inspection, and continued on their routes transporting 450,000 Mississippi students on a daily basis, according to Leonard Swilley, the transportation safety director of the Mississippi Department of Education.

The greatest danger to our children is when they are boarding or disembarking from the school bus, and a passing motorist ignores a stopped bus.  This often results in catastrophic injuries or even fatal pedestrian accidents. Negligence of other drivers poses a threat of serious Mississippi motor vehicle accidents far greater than the school bus.  In fact, the Mississippi legislature is considering a law imposing stiffer punishments for any motorist that injures a child while passing a school bus. The Senate recently passed such a bill, which is now pending further review by the House of Representatives.

There are many safeguards in place intended to keep our children safe.  All Mississippi school bus drivers must have eight hours of training every other year for re-certification to continue driving with 4 hours of training every year.  In addition, Mississippi school buses have many special safety features designed to keep our children safe when they are being transported to and from school each day. The roof of a school bus is curved so that it will be forced to roll onto its side in the event of a rollover. The high seats and narrow aisles keep riders in their compartments preventing them from getting tossed bout in the event of an accident.

If a collision occurs, the riders on a school bus most likely will get thrown into the back of the seat in front of them, which is why the back of each seat is heavily padded. Kenneth Roberts, who is the Director of Transportation for the Tupelo Public school district states,” The back of a seat is almost like an air bag.”

Many school buses do not use seat belts because aggressive students could use them to harm other students if a fight breaks out.  It is also possible that a smaller child could get trapped if they were unable to release the latch quickly in an emergency situation, and the driver could not get to the child.  However, many states have begun examining whether seat belts should be added to school buses, which could be particularly helpful in school bus rollover accidents.

The air vents on the roof and windows can be removed for a quick escape if necessary, and the floor and sides are reinforced to such a degree that a school bus can withstand a significant impact from another vehicle.  School buses are probably one of the safest vehicles on the road today, and will keep the precious cargo they carry, our children, as safe as they possibly can in the event of an accident.

Despite the significant steps taken to keep our children safe in the event of a serious Mississippi school bus accident, the fatal Ackerman high school bus accident makes clear that Mississippi bus accidents are still a real risks to the safety of our children.  If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious Mississippi bus accident or a school bus accident in Jackson or elsewhere in Mississippi, our experienced Mississippi bus accident attorneys are committed to helping those who suffer serious injury resulting form the negligence of others obtain compensation for their injuries.  We offer a free case evaluation so call us today.