New Jersey School Bus Accident Safety
According to the National Safety Council, riding a bus is the safest way for children to travel to school. School buses are specifically designed for safety with their bright yellow color, flashing lights, over-sized mirrors, and incorporation of lap and shoulder belts. Not only that, they make the roads to school safer because they keep more than 17 million cars away from school buildings every single school day.
In the state of New Jersey, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) has an inspection unit which is responsible for checking all vehicles that are used for transporting students, such as school buses, dual-purpose vehicles, small school vehicles, and summer camp vehicles registered in New Jersey. An inspection is required before a license and registration can be issued.
Once a vehicle is registered for school transportation in New Jersey, it will be inspected twice a year. Each vehicle must display an MVC-issued inspection sticker at all times.
Why do School Bus Accidents Happen?
In spite of the fact that school buses are safe vehicles, accidents do sometimes happen. When they do, they can cause serious or fatal injuries. This may be due to a number of reasons:
- Driver distraction: The bus driver may become distracted if he or she is texting or talking on the phone, under the influence of drug or alcohol, or by the children on the bus. In this case the driver would be responsible for the accident.
- Driver fatigue: If the driver is over-tired and becomes distracted or falls asleep at the wheel and causes an accident, the driver is liable.
- Reckless driving: If another driver causes the school bus to crash due to his or her reckless drinking, he or she is at fault.
- Mechanical errors: If the bus is not maintained properly and an accident is due to mechanical failure, the school or organization which owns the bus is at fault.
- Overloaded bus: Each school bus has a capacity limit. It the bus is overloaded, it is at a greater risk of being involved in an accident. In this case, it may be the fault of the driver, the school or both.
- Faulty Road signs: Wrongly positioned road signs or faulty traffic signals can sometimes be the cause of school bus accidents. In this case, the government body responsible for their maintenance would be responsible.
If your child has been injured in a New Jersey school bus accident, call Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. right away. This is not a time you should be worrying about building a legal case. Let us take care of this for you, so you can take care of your family. Contact us at (609) 240-0040 for consultation.
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