Although bus accident of rare, they do happen, and when they happen, there are certain protocols that school bus drivers must legally abide by for not just the safety of themselves but of the children and those around them.
School buses are highly regulated. The design is intended to prevent injuries. Stop arm laws are in place protect children. They prevent other vehicles from illegally passing a school bus, as much as possible, and school bus drivers must follow safety protocols in the event of an accident. If a school bus driver does not follow safety protocols in the event of an accident, then the situation only escalates from that point. Unfortunately, sometimes these accidents prove to be fatal.
Post-Accident Safety Protocols
After an accident, school bus drivers must secure the scene. This includes displaying the warning signs. They also must not move the vehicle after an accident. The school bus drivers must also check passengers in the bus for injuries. They must administer first aid if needed when waiting for emergency services. If the bus is unsafe after the accident, the bus driver must evacuate all occupants of the bus. Everyone has to be moved at least 100' from the bus. This is to help ensure that as much of the scene is preserved as possible for when the investigation and applies to all accidents.
After everything has been secured, school bus driver must report the accident and give the details of location, route number, bus number the school of the students, the seriousness of the accident, and all injuries. If there are any injuries, EMS and police must be notified. EMS will arrive to check on the health and wellbeing of all parties involved especially if there are any fatalities or injuries involved.
This information is important as a bus driver wants to document as much as possible for transparency to the school and to the public. The school superintendent and the school principal must also be notified and given the details aboutthe accident. If there are any witness to the accident, the school bus driver is permitted to speak with them and take the names and addresses of the witnesses. The bus driver is advised not to give any information to insurance companies, bystanders or to the media. In certain situations, a bus driver or anyone involved may need an attorney to ensure the accident is documented and thoroughly investigated.
Unfortunately, there may be fatalities in the accident which is where a wrongful death lawyer will need to be brought in to represent different parties involved in the accident from the bus driver to the school to the family or loved ones involved. Making sure that the accident is fully investigated can bring closure. However, it will not bring back someone's loved one which is important to be mindful about in the case of wrongful death.
Even if the bus accident is a minor fender bender, the bus driver much still check occupants for injuries and report the accident. If there are no injuries, the school bus driver is permitted to continue on their route. The parents of the students on the bus must be notified about the accident. After a thorough investigation and documentation of the accident, the school decides what to do with this information and how to address the bus driver involved (i.e. reassessing their employment, possible additional charges, etc.)
After all of these protocols are followed, the school has a role. The school may view health information for each student passenger, send a staff member to the accident scene, talk to the medics or visit students in the hospital. Sometimes a school may set aside time to talk with licensed therapists to talk with students to ensure their mental health is also taken care of as the students who survived may be experiencing much anguish. PNB Parivar. It is critical for the family, school, the students, and the public to have access to these resources to help heal from a tragic fatal school bus accident.
Other Safety Protocols
School bus drivers have other responsibilities, too. They must watch for students playing in the street, follow the bus laws of their state, flash the yellow lights when loading unloading students and undergo school bus safety driving training. If it's determined that these protocols, then further investigation is warranted, and a wrongful death attorney should be brought in to navigate a wrongful death lawsuit.
If your loved one has been killed in a school bus accident, contact the law firm of Terry Bryant for a successful wrongful death lawsuit. Making sure an attorney is involved is important to navigate the complex nature of wrongful death lawsuits and to help bring closure to those impacted by the loss of their loved one due to the fatal accident.