A recent school bus accident in southeast Alabama sent 20 students to local hospitals. According to The Washington Post, the bus accident happened just after 7:00 a.m. as the bus made its way to Goshen's Elementary and Goshen's High Schools.
On the school bus at the time of the accident were 40 students. Twenty-one were transported to ambulances to local hospitals and Troy and Luverne. Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas says that the weather contributed to the accidents. He says that weather conditions were poor and it was raining hard when the bus flipped. Still, an official cause of the accident has yet to be released by authorities. Some reports indicate that the rear tire of the school bus left the roadways shortly before it overturned.
"It's just an unfortunate accident. Right now we're focusing on providing support to the students and their parents," said Dr. Mark Bazzell, the superintendent of Pike County Schools.
Our Alabama school bus accident lawyers understand that there are about 9 billion school bus trips that are made every year. Less than 450,000 school buses make these 9 billion trips. On these trips are nearly 25 million students. The trips are made to and from school, athletic events, camps and religious events. It is estimated that more than 25 school-aged bus riders are killed in these types of accidents every year. Hundreds of others are injured.
Some of the main reasons for school bus accidents include the lack of seat belts for the buses and the fact that their design really hasn't changed since 1977.
"Although accidents do occur, the yellow school bus is still the safest way to transport children to and from school," said Pete Japikse, co-director of the American School Bus Council.
Tips to Help Reduce the Risk of Injury on a School Bus:
-When the school bus is approaching your bus stop, be sure to stay at least 10 feet away from the curb. Don't approach the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver says it's safe.
-If you've got to cross the street to get to the bus, again wait until it comes to a complete stop and wait for the bus' red light to start flashing. Look both ways and proceed to cross the street when it's safe.
-Once you get on the bus, listen to the driver. Stay calm. Never rush or push other riders out of the way.
-Keep your voice low.
-Keep your feet, hands and head inside the bus.
-Never throw things inside the bus or out of the bus window.
-Always keep the bus clean.
-Listen to the driver.
-Never get within 10 feet of the bus while it's moving. This area is known as the "Danger Zone."
-If you drop something by the bus, don't bend over to pick it up until you've alerted the bus driver.
-Drivers should slow down near buses, whether they're moving or stopped.
Revisit our Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog for upcoming school bus safety tips and safe driving tips for residents as we head through the remainder of the school year.
More Blog Entries:
Alabama School Bus Accident a Tragic Reminder of the Dangers, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, September 8, 2011
Back-to-School Brings Risk of Child Injuries in Tuscaloosa, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, August 22, 2011