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Bus drivers more likely to crash when they are distracted

School is back in session across the country, meaning thousands of children throughout California and beyond will be piling into school buses every day, putting their physical safety in the hands of a bus driver. While you may not be able to be on the bus every day to ensure that your child is in the care of a competent, caring driver, you can educate your child on the risk factors that increase the chances of unsafe driving. This way, your child can keep from contributing to the danger of other passengers and inform you if he or she sees any unsafe behavior on the part of the bus driver.

By far, the most common risk factor that contributes to school bus crashes that could have been avoided is the distraction of the bus driver. The most dangerous activity for bus drivers is reaching for loose objects while driving. A driver who reaches to pick up an object that may be moving around the vehicle is about nine times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers who concentrate solely on driving.

Most commonly, these objects are small and medium-sized items that may easily move about the cabin as the bus makes turns or accelerates and decelerates, such as purses, backpacks, phones and mp3 players. Your child may not be able to control everything within the bus, but they can help make sure that their personal belongings remain in their control at all times, and report other dangerous behavior to you if they see it, like excessive talking with other passengers, or eating and drinking while driving.

While it would wonderful to be able to trust that all bus drivers are qualified, experienced individuals with the safety of their passengers as their highest priority at all times, this is sadly not always the case. Accidents involving buses can be even more devastating than other kinds of automobile accidents, due to the large size of the vehicle. If you or your child have been involved in a bus-related accident, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help ensure that your claims are heard fairly while your rights remain protected.

Source: Randolph & Associates, "Bus Accidents," accessed Aug. 26, 2016

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