School buses are designed to be very visible to reduce the possibility of a driver not seeing a bus. This is illustrated by their bright color and flashing lights. In addition, the law specifically provides protection to school buses because they carry such precious cargo. One example is that it is illegal for motorists to pass a school bus while children are being picked up or dropped off.
While school buses are designed to be some of the safest vehicles on the road, they are not immune from being involved in a serious accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – an entity that was established following the Highway Safety Act of 1970 – is tasked with researching and studying highway and vehicle design and safety. According to the NHTSA, from 2006 to 2015, there were about 324,710 fatal car accidents, and of those, about 1,172 were related to school transportation. Sadly, there have been about 1,313 children and adults killed in school vehicle accidents. Over 100 of these accident victims were school-aged children.
When these accidents occur, aside from being emotionally devastating, establishing liability and recovering compensation can be very difficult. One reason is that there are many issues in play, including who caused the accident, why the accident occurred, and whether the school district, the bus driver, or another party may be held liable.