Every day, millions of Californians send their children off to school. Many of the children that attend the public schools of California arrive and leave the campus via school bus. While riding the school bus, children could be danger in the event of a bus accident. The injuries are typically more severe, because of the lack of seat belts.
Students involved in accidents on school buses can be severely injured or even killed. In February of 2017, eight students riding on a Lancaster, California school bus were involved in an accident between the vehicle and a Cadillac. One of the students was critically injured after the car sped through a red light hitting the bus.
According to experts, riding a school bus is statistically the safest way to get to school. Deaths involving bus accidents are rare. Child safety advocates believe that one way to make deaths from school bus accidents non-existent is to make seat belts mandatory on all school buses in California.
Why do Buses Not Have Seat belts?
The cost involved is the main reason for not adding seat belts to school buses. One report identified that it could increase a school district’s costs by more than $1 million a year. Combined with the low number of deaths from bus accidents, it’s the main reason for resistance to adding seat belts.
The federal government does not have a law on the books requiring schools to make seat belts mandatory. Rather, they have left it up to state and school districts to decide if the price of a lawsuit or the addition of seat belts would cost more. It seems many school districts have decided the likelihood of a major lawsuit payout is less than the amount it would take to make school buses safer.
Why Should Schools Add Seat Belts to Buses?
Nearly every day it seems another accident involving a school bus is reported on the news, but many school districts are going by the “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” principle. An average of five student deaths occur in the United States every year due to school bus accidents. That number is too low for many to consider taking action.
In May of 2017, a school bus in Yuba County was involved in an accident. The bus was carrying 13 students, and all were wearing seat belts. Unlike the events that took place in Lancaster, no student suffered critical injuries, and the five who reported being hurt were treated for minor injuries. Seat belts on that bus saved lives and prevented catastrophic injuries.
In 2015, there were more than 14 million automobiles on California’s roads. The large number of cars means that accidents can happen at any time, so why should a bus full of school children not have every opportunity to protect those children as much as possible?
Flahavan Law Offices
Contact Flahavan Law Offices if you or a loved one has been involved with a bus accident and the injuries that follow. Flahavan Law specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice on achieving the compensation you deserve. Visit our dedicated page on bus accidents or contact us directly. Flahavan Law Offices is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.