Earlier today, a driver in Washington County, Ohio was cited for crashing into the back of a school bus that was transporting students in the Warren Local School District. Tracey Smith claimed the sun was in her eyes which impacted her ability to drive. Smith was traveling on Rt. 555 when she rear-ended the bus that was carrying 15 students at the time. The Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper who responded to the call stated that there were no injuries and that the students were shuttled onto another bus [Source: The News Center].
While inclement weather and other natural causes are attributed to causing accidents, distracted driving has also become one of the more serious causes of all types of vehicular collisions. According to United Educators, “although school bus accidents result from the negligence of other drivers, too often they involve driver inattentiveness.” With the issue of distracted driving going on for years now, it is time to begin recognizing ways to prevent ourselves from driving distracted and helping to create a safer roadway for ourselves and those we share it with.
Below are a few of the common types of distractions motorists and bus drivers allow to interfere with their driving and should be avoided at all costs.
Distractions from Inside the Vehicle
- Reaching for objects that have dropped or are moving around the vehicle. Many drivers will reach for a fallen purse or backpack as they don’t want the contents inside to fall out and spread all over the vehicle. Cellphones are also another object many will attempt to reach for while driving as opposed to just waiting until they arrive at their destination or even at a stoplight. United Educators highlighted a bus accident that occurred because the driver was reaching for an object and ended up crashing into a fully loaded asphalt truck. As a result, one student died along with a construction worker, and 32 students sustained injuries. So, rather than trying to reach for something that you can do without for the duration of your trip, just leave it until your vehicle comes to a complete stop.
- Engaging in conversation with a passenger. This is something that happens often on a school bus as drivers are sometimes carrying 30 or more passengers and they will engage in conversation with them or remind them of the school bus rules. The fact is, “talking to a passenger ranked right behind cell phone usage as an action that required the most cognitive workload.” Therefore, try and avoid having a lengthy, drawn-out conversation when driving with someone as this too is considered to be dangerous and a form of distracted driving.
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting the radio or music player
- Adjusting vehicle/climate controls
Distractions from Outside the Vehicle
Some distractions from outside the vehicle that are known to cause accidents include:
- Construction projects
- Another accident
- Electronic billboards
- Pedestrians and others occupying the street such as a skateboarder for bicyclist
The more aware of how dangerous and deadly distracted driving can be, the less of a chance you will allow a distraction to get in the way of you operating a vehicle.
Now, if your child was recently involved in a school bus collision in Ohio, USAttorneys.com wants to get you connected with a local school bus accident lawyer. The professionals we work closely with can provide you with advice, guidance, and even representation in the event your child sustained serious, life-threatening injuries.