Arkansas – February 26, 2021

Fayetteville is the only school district in Arkansas working to make safety restraints standard on its large buses, costing approximately $160,000 according to their transportation director. The district transports an average of 6,400 students daily and almost one third of the 70  buses have seatbelts installed.  Other districts claim that the buses are relatively safe without adding seatbelts, but Arkansas Act 375 of 2017 supports arguments in favor of expanding seatbelts on all school buses through signed petitions of community members wishing to add another level of safety to their children’s bus travel.  Legal action against manufacturers may be altered by the addition of seatbelts in the design of school buses.  A bus accident attorney can explain how liability is assigned in accidents.

Relatively safe mode of travel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest vehicles on the road and children are safer taking buses to school than traveling by car.  Approximately 4-6 school aged children die every year on school transportation, that amount is less than one percent of all nationwide traffic fatalities.  Safety standards for school buses are higher than regular government controlled transit and private buses. Victims of school bus accidents should consult with an experienced bus accident attorney.

School bus accidents.

In 2003 a teenager was killed when a school bus ran off the road, rolled over and crashed into some trees.  Four years after that the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that parents of students injured, or killed in that bus accident could not sue the bus manufacturer for not installing seatbelts.  After a bus accident with the county school district, victims should consult with a bus accident attorney to guide them through possible damage recovery for latent injury from the crash.

In 2017, there were 73 school buses involved in fatal crashes in the United States.  The increase in passengers in a school bus directly impacts the potential costs of damages in the event of an accident involving injury, or death.  Accident victims should contact experienced legal counsel familiar with damage recovery options.  Damages may include economic and non-economic expense recovery.

The persons that can be sued in a bus accident scenario are:

  • Owner(s) of bus,
  • Driver of bus,
  • Commercial insurer of bus,
  • Regulatory agency supporting bus safety on issues of bus manufacturer and parts manufacturer,
  • Licensing agencies of privately owned and public transit vehicles, city, county, or state.

When a student is injured, or a loved one has been harmed in a school bus accident, an experienced bus accident attorney can build a winning case for damage compensation.

Federal regulations.

Federal regulations require other passenger vehicles to adhere to certain driving patterns and rules when riding near school buses.  When accidents occur because other drivers break this law, they could be considered negligent and may be responsible for damages.

A personal injury lawyer who has experience with complex insurance claims and bus accident litigation settlements can assist victims toward relief in the form of damage compensation. USAttorneys.com is a great resource to put individuals in touch with experienced bus accident lawyers who can answer questions and initiate legal action when it is required.

Sources.

https://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Acts/Document?type=pdf&act=375&ddBienniumSession=2017%2F2017R

https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-bus-safety

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/413361/fmcsa-pocket-guide-2018-final-508-compliant-1.pdf

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ourroads/large-trucks-and-buses-numbers

https://www.napt.org/

https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2021/mar/01/fayetteville-wants-seat-belts-on-every-school-bus/

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