Winter Weather School Bus Accidents
Winter, a time that many New Jersey residents enjoy, can be quite devastating to our vehicles and our bodies. When it snows and sleets, the chance for accidents and injury rise dramatically. Winter weather also causes schools in our area to close, keeping everyone safe from traveling in the inclement conditions.
What if your child’s school doesn’t close for the day despite the weather causing treacherous roads? What if the bus that picks up your child gets into an accident because of the weather? Let’s explain bus accidents in New Jersey.
Getting into a School Bus Accident
A school bus is generally viewed as a safe mode of transportation for our children to travel in each and every day. While that may be true, deadly accidents happen more often than they should. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 118 people were killed on school buses that were involved in an accident between 2007 and 2016.
According to a 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, 69,000 bus accidents occurred throughout the entire United States. Some of the most common causes of bus accidents include:
- Weather conditions
- Distracted, intoxicated, or fatigued driving
- Improper training of bus drivers
- Overloading the bus
- Poor upkeep of the vehicle
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Faulty road signs or traffic lights
What does this all mean when it comes to getting into a winter weather school bus accident?
Winter Weather Increases Risk
A school bus driving during inclement winter weather conditions pose more risk to children and other drivers on the road than any other time of the year. Two of the main factors responsible for winter weather school bus accidents are decreased visibility and slick roadways.
Snow, sleet, and strong wind gusts can make it difficult for school bus drivers to fully see the road during winter. When traveling, each bus should have a clear windshield and windows to see out of. A school bus should also have its lights on to make it more visible to other drivers who may be traveling.
School buses have a lot more weight to them than a typical car or truck. Because of the weight, that makes sliding less likely. But if a school bus would start to slide because of poor road conditions, it would be more difficult for it to stop because of that weight. Luckily, New Jersey implemented a new law last year that requires new school buses to be equipped with lap and shoulder seat belts in case an accident happens.
What If Your Child Gets Injured?
If your child was the unfortunate victim of a winter weather school bus accident, you will want someone to pay, figuratively and literally, for your child’s injuries. Seeking the compensation and justice you deserve starts with understanding how liability works in a New Jersey school bus accident.
Determining who is liable for your child’s injuries may be very tricky. There are a lot of moving parts. The school bus driver may be liable if it’s determined that he or she was driving recklessly or negligently. If the driver was an employee of the school, the school will be liable as the employer. If the driver worked for a commercial transportation company, the company will be liable for what had occurred.
If the bus driver is found to be at fault for the accident, the school or transportation company may also be liable for negligent hiring practices or failure to properly train and supervise their drivers.
Other liable parties in a school bus accident might include school bus manufacturers, seat belt manufacturers, and government agencies. When it comes to bad weather, government agencies are viewed with intense scrutiny because they are usually tasked with keeping the roads clear of snow and ice.
Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone Today
If you were a victim of a winter weather school bus accident in New Jersey, don’t hesitate to act. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today so we can help you recover the compensation you deserve in order for you and your loved ones to move forward.