Children Are More at Risk of Injuries in Truck and Bus Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of child injury in the United States. Not only are children more at risk of serious injuries in crashes, they are especially vulnerable in crashes involving larger vehicles—including the ones they ride on or near every day.
Truck Crashes Place Children at Risk
Truck crashes are especially dangerous to child passengers in smaller vehicles. Even if the child is securely buckled in a safety seat, her body is not able to cope with the same amount of trauma as an adult’s, and a minor injury to a driver may be fatal to a child passenger. Given the size and weight of the average semi truck, it is overwhelmingly likely that a child in a trucking accident will not survive the crash.
Bus Accidents Can Injure Children Before and After Boarding
Children are even at risk of accidents when riding inside a larger vehicle, such as the buses they take to school. Over 17,000 children are taken to emergency rooms for injuries involving school buses every year, most often as a result of:
- Riding the bus. Over 40 percent of school bus injuries are caused by collisions. Seat belts are not standard on school buses, and every year roughly nine children are killed and thousands more are injured in school bus crashes.
- Getting on or off the bus. As many as 20 children are killed each year as they attempt to board or leave the school bus. Parents can help reduce these injuries by instructing kids to line up to board facing the school bus door rather that along the side of the bus, and never to walk behind the bus. Children who need to cross the street after getting off the bus should take five giant steps in front of the bus and wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing.
- Waiting for the bus. Even standing near the road while waiting for the bus to arrive can be dangerous for children. Children may be struck by a passing car or by the school bus itself, with the majority of victims between five and seven years old. Children should be instructed never to play in the street while waiting for the bus, and never to walk in the “no zones”—the 10 feet surrounding each side of the bus. Walking in the “no zones” is the most common cause of runover and backover accidents for small children, because bus drivers cannot see the child in the mirrors.
Vehicle accident injuries can have a wide range of consequences for children as well as their families. Parents can file a personal injury claim on their child’s behalf to collect compensation from an at-fault driver, allowing them to get payments for past and future medical expenses, disability, pain and suffering, and other losses. Contact us today to get answers to your questions after a child’s injury, or fill out the form on this page to schedule your initial consultation with an attorney.