Over 700 million people ride buses each year. Whether riding on public transit, school buses, charter buses, or tour buses, passengers are at risk for severe injury and even death when accidents occur. In the aftermath of a bus accident, there are several steps individuals should take. Seeking medical attention is of utmost importance.
Don’t be a distraction.
When you ride a bus, it’s essential not to be distracted. It means putting away electronic devices, not talking to friends or texting, and being mindful of your surroundings. It also means not hanging your head or arms out the window or reaching for anything another passenger drops. These kinds of distractions could lead to injuries. The bus driver could swerve or brake suddenly, and you may fall or get hit by something. You’re also susceptible to neck, back, and spinal cord injuries from sudden stops, as well as deep cuts and lacerations if you’re near or inside the vehicle when it crashes. The transit bus system in Florida is meant to be a secure mode of transportation; sadly, there are occasions when this is not the case.
Contrary to popular belief, there are more incidents of public bus accidents than not. Not many people know this, but even in Florida, there are bus accidents quite frequently. Every month, roughly 1,000 individuals sustain injuries as a result of different types of transit bus accidents. Injuries like these can change your life forever and leave you permanently disabled. If a negligent party injures you, you may be able to file a compensation claim with the help of a Ft. Lauderdale bus accident law firm.
Be on time
If you are a parent with children, be on time when you drop them off at the bus stop. You should be there five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus. When the bus does arrive, stand 10 feet away from it and wait until the driver signals that you may cross. Never stand in the “Danger Zone,” which includes ten feet in front of the bus where the driver cannot see you and ten feet on either side of the bus. Keeping your child safe is a shared responsibility between school districts, bus drivers, and passengers. It is essential to understand the role that each plays so you can make the most informed decisions for your and your child’s safety.
Get a seat
Whether riding a small local bus or a sizeable long-distance coach, get a seat. Bus seats are designed to hold you in case of a frontal crash. The high, padded back of the chair absorbs most of the impact and moves you to a safe position. But that protection is only adequate if you sit in the right seat.
A window seat is the safest, as the glass protects you. The next safest place is an aisle seat, as you’ll have an exit if needed in an emergency. Middle seats are the least secure, leaving you unprotected from the side. Bus drivers have a lot on their plate when driving such a large vehicle. They must be mindful of their surroundings and provide plenty of distance from other vehicles, as they take longer than cars to stop.
Report unsafe bus drivers.
When it comes to bus safety, there is a lot on the line. Not only do buses carry more passengers than most vehicles, but the sheer size of the vehicle makes them particularly vulnerable to accidents and incidents. Companies must prioritize safety and ensure that their drivers are equipped to deal with any issues they may face. If you witness unsafe driving from a bus driver, report it to the police immediately. But be aware that it can be difficult to bring charges against a reckless driver operating a company vehicle since law enforcement must establish the driver’s identity and that the company owns the car. It is a labor-intensive process, and it can sometimes be stopped cold when the wrong tag number is used.
Even if you avoid being involved in an accident, many things can go wrong when riding a bus. A simple slip-and-fall or bump in the head could result in a severe injury that requires medical attention. Kids should also practice safe habits when getting on and off a bus. It’s best to arrive at the stop a few minutes before the bus arrives so you don’t have to run. Kids should form a queue and wait for the driver to open the door before getting on the bus. They should stay out of the danger zone, any area within 10 feet of the bus. If a crash does happen, remain calm and report the incident to police. Capture any evidence you can, such as vehicle and driver information.