School Bus Accident Raises Concerns over Child Safety
A tragic school bus crash that killed six children under the age of 10 and injured dozens of others had our hearts breaking over the Thanksgiving holiday. While our thoughts went out to the parents and loved ones who suffered this terrible loss, we held onto our own children a little tighter, mindful of how one wrong decision on the part of a driver can impact and alter so many other lives.
School bus accidents and injuries are not as common as motor vehicle accidents. In fact, studies suggest that most children are safer when riding the school bus as opposed to riding with family members. At the same time, however, local connections with the bus company involved in the crash and the high rate of accidents in our area over the past year raise valid concerns among parents for their own children’s safety.
Local Connection To Chattanooga School Bus Accident
Chattanooga, Tennessee was the site of a school bus accident that happened only days before Thanksgiving 2016. According to a CNN report on the bus crash, dozens of children suffered head and spinal injuries, while six died either at the scene or in the hospital in the days after. Toxicology reports indicate that the 24-year-old driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but he was traveling at a high rate of speed and had veered from the designated bus route when the accident occurred. He was also involved in another school bus accident only several months before the fatal crash, causing parents to question why he was allowed to remain behind the wheel.
The driver worked for Durham School Services, the same company that provides bus service to the Charleston County School District. A Post and Courier report on the Chattanooga crashstates that Durham has a satisfactory rating from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration but has been reprimanded seven times in the past two years and has been involved in four traffic fatalities during that period.
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How Common Are School Bus Accidents?
While none of the four fatal crashes occurred in South Carolina, the Post and Courier reports that there have been four additional accidents involving Durham School Services that occurred in our area:
- A January 2015 crash that injured two on I-526
- A February 2015 James Island crash that injured one
- A March 2015 West Ashley crash that injured two
- A June 2016 crash in Awendaw that injured one
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that bus accidents are far less common than motor vehicle accidents and that children have a better chance of getting to school safely on a bus as opposed to riding with their parents. At the same time, however, school transportation related accidents do result in roughly 135 fatalities each year — including bus passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers.
Our Accident & Injury Attorney Is Here To Help
If you or a loved one is injured in a bus accident, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our experienced South Carolina accident attorneys can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable for the damages you have suffered, while assisting you in getting the compensation you need to recover.