A school bus driver from Gilmer County, GA was recently charged for causing the bus he was operating to engage in an accident that left 16 students injured. The students riding the bus attend Clear Creek Middle School and the accident occurred nearby to where the school is located. Harold Lee Moody, 71, was operating the bus when the students became loud and were using profanity, according to his claims. In an effort to get students to settle down, he grabbed his microphone and was talking to the student passengers while looking at them through the rearview mirror [Source: Fox 5 News].
After bringing his attention back to the roadway, he must have realized he was swerving off Yukon Road and attempted to turn the wheel, but it was too late. The bus slid off of the east side of the road and into a ditch. It flipped on its side, leaving several of the students injured. Dr. Shanna Wilkes, who is the superintendent of Gilmer County Schools, said that 16 students were transported to two area emergency rooms with non-life-threatening injuries. Moody did not sustain an injury as a result of the school bus incident.
What he did receive, however, was a charge because he failed to exercise due care as a school bus driver. His charge stems from the actions he engaged in that distracted him from the safe operation of the vehicle. Although it can be a rather difficult job to drive a school bus with students making noise and using inappropriate language, that comes with the territory of driving a bus.
What other challenges do bus drivers face that could potentially lead to an accident occurring?
Aside from having to drive with a great deal of noise, school bus drivers also encounter some other challenges when driving in the city of Atlanta, GA. Some of those challenges include:
- Driving in areas with a high number of traffic lights and cameras. According to Safe Stop, “traffic cameras routinely cause a 22% overall increase in rear-end accidents.”
- City streets are sometimes narrower to travel down which makes maneuvering a bulky school bus harder to do.
- The number of pedestrians in the city are much higher which makes a school bus driver’s job more difficult. Why? Well, with more people out walking, there is an increase in jaywalkers and people crossing the street at unpredicted times.
School bus accidents occur for a number of different reasons, some caused by the bus driver’s negligence and others caused by motorists and other outside factors. But, it is important that anyone involved in a bus crash speak with a bus accident lawyer immediately to determine if they have a viable case on their hands. Whether you are the bus driver, student, or passenger, many collisions often permit victims to collect compensation for the pain and suffering they have to go through.
Therefore, if you were recently involved in a crash and need legal assistance, USAttorneys wants to connect you with a local Atlanta, GA bus crash attorney today.