Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz

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Violating school bus safety laws can lead to accidents

As a parent, you may have had some apprehensions about sending your child to school on the school bus. After all, you likely do not know the driver personally and may have had concerns that your child would face bullying or other mistreatment while on the bus. Nonetheless, you settled your anxiety, and now, your child rides the school bus to and from school with ease.

Of course, even after settling your anxiety, you may still understandably worry. After all, worrying is practically a constant of parenthood. Though the school bus has flashing lights and extendable stop signs in order to signal that the bus is coming to a stop and that other traffic should stop, some drivers do not heed these directions.

Breaking school bus safety laws

The majority of drivers know that school bus safety laws are in place in efforts to protect children who are getting on or off buses. In some cases, children will need to cross a street in order to get to their houses or otherwise step out where traffic travels. At young ages, many children do not think about the danger of getting on or off the bus and may simply bound from the bus steps and run home, happy to be out of school.

Unfortunately, some drivers may attempt to pass stopped school buses or not see that one has put out its stop sign because those drivers are dealing with distraction. Distracted driving is an issue on all parts of the road, but a study into distracted driving and school zones found that one out of every six drivers who traveled through a school zone was dealing with distraction. Using cellphones, grooming, reading, reaching behind the seat and eating were all causes of distraction in these drivers.

Attempts at discouragement

In Texas, the use of a cellphone in a school zone could result in a $200 fine. However, rather than fully discouraging drivers from texting while in these zones, many drivers have apparently chosen to try to sneak their phone use. As a result, they may place their phones in their laps in order to text, which results in them keeping their eyes down rather than up and on the road.

No parent wants his or her child to suffer injuries, and the idea of a child being hit by a vehicle due to a distracted driver can seem unfathomable. Sadly, this event is not impossible. If your child suffered serious or even fatal injuries in this type of accident, you may want to explore your legal options to determine whether seeking compensation for damages resulting from the incident is a viable route to follow.

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