Parents think safety first when raising their children. Unfortunately, when they put their children on the school bus each day in Tampa safety isn’t always first. In fact, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (FDHSMV) statistics show that the number of school bus accidents is rising. Between 2012 – 2015 there’s been a 16% increase in the number of accidents statewide. In 2015 alone 2,698 school bus accidents were reported in Florida.
Why School bus Accidents are Increasing
Many say that the increased number of accidents is caused by there being more students enrolled in public schools taking the bus today. These areas in Florida have a higher overall population as well. However, these aren’t the only reasons why these accidents are happening. According to the FDHSMV there are also more bus routes that need covered, which has caused an influx of new, inexperienced drivers.
Not all of Tampa’s school bus accidents are the bus drivers’ fault though. There are also many instances in which they’re caused by a car accident in which an impatient motorist attempts to pass the bus or fails to stop behind them. This is why school bus drivers are required to report any vehicle that illegally passes their stop sign but according to the yearly survey conducted by the Florida Department of Education thousands of motorists continue to do so. This is should be alarming to every parent who puts their child on a school bus each morning.
How Florida is Trying to Stop These car Accidents
Florida is trying to make school buses safer. As such they’ve approved the following safety requirements for every school bus in the state:
- Making fire-retardant seating mandatory
- Implementing heavy-duty brake systems
- Adding additional emergency exits so students can quickly and easily evacuate a bus if it gets into an accident
- Ensuring the integrity of the bus’s fuel system
- Placing dual stop signal arms and front bumper student crossing arms on all buses
Florida is also leading the nation in calling for safety belts to be installed on all buses. They’re not only making this a rally cry but they’re also installing two-point seat belts on all buses. While California is also working on a similar measure, they’re also making sure each student knows how to properly use these seatbelts – something that Florida doesn’t currently do. Nevertheless, this measure is seemingly working and while Florida does have more accidents, they do have less injuries from said accidents.
Unfortunately, car accidents are unavoidable. If your child is hurt in a school bus accident you should know that you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and physical injuries. There are some insurance companies that are known to either underpay or deny a claim. If you feel that you need help with a bus or car accident case, make sure you contact the Rojas Law Group today. They will help you get what you and your child deserve.
Picture Credit: Wokandapix