School bus accidents in Alabama

How to Avoid Accidents with School Buses

School buses are a common sight now that school is back in session, but that doesn’t mean that everyone remembers the rules of bus safety. Unfortunately, school bus accidents are fairly common. In many cases, crashes occur because drivers follow too closely or drive too quickly. By following a few basic safety tips, you can lower your chance of a collision.

What happens if you are involved in a bus accident? It’s time to talk to an attorney and find out if you are entitled to compensation. Call Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell to learn more. Call our Chatom office at 251-336-3411 or our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3697.

Leave Lots of Space

Make sure you leave plenty of space when driving next to or behind a school bus. They take longer to stop than other vehicles, often take wide turns, and take frequent turns. Instead of expecting them to clip along at the same pace as other vehicles, back off and be ready for whatever comes next. If you find yourself continuously getting too close, take steps to get around the bus and move out of its area.

Slow Down

Keeping in line with the first tip, slow down and take your time. If you often find yourself short of time or running behind, you may be traveling during school start and end times. Give yourself extra time to get wherever you’re going so that you don’t risk an accident.

In general, buses tend to move much slower than smaller passenger vehicles. This allows them to make frequent stops and avoid accidents if a child runs out in front of them. Tailgating won’t make them move faster, but it will increase the likelihood of a collision. Instead, slow down and take another route if you absolutely cannot afford any delays.

Always Be Ready to Stop

Whether a school bus is going to or from school, it will likely be making multiple stops. Even if there are no stop signs or traffic lights around, be ready to stop at any given moment. If you’re too close or driving too quickly to stop at a moment’s notice, that’s a good cue to slow down and back off.

Additionally, watch out for train tracks. Remember that school buses follow different rules than other vehicles when it comes to railroad tracks. Bus drivers come to a complete stop, open the door to look and listen for trains, and then resume driving. Plan accordingly so you don’t get stuck in an intersection or turn.

Watch Out for Children

Kids of all ages use school buses, but you may also see adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities using bus systems to go to and from programming. In all of these cases, you can never predict what someone getting on or off a bus will do.

An excited child may run out in front of the bus, knowing that their mom is waiting on the other side of the street. A child who just missed the bus may run alongside it, trying to get the driver to stop. It’s best to always assume that children are around and that they could do something unpredictable.

Familiarize Yourself with School Times

If driving around school buses stresses you out, you may want to plan your trips around school times. Look up your local school district and find their start and end times. You can generally expect buses to be on the road for half an hour before and after those times. In some cases, they are on the road even longer—rural districts sometimes bus students in from 30 or more miles away.

Even if you can’t plan your trips around school stop and start times, you can adjust your route if necessary. There’s often a bit of a traffic backup as buses arrive at or leave school, so taking a slightly different route can save you some time and frustration.

Get the Help You Need with Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell

If you are hit by a bus, you’re likely dealing with injuries and property damage. It’s time to talk to an attorney and find out if you are entitled to compensation. Find out now by connecting with our office and setting up a consultation. You can call our Chatom location at 251-336-3411, call our Bay Minette location at 251-336-3697, or get in touch with us online.

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