Michigan Drivers Asked to be Cautious Around School Buses

August 31, 2012 |
Michigan Drivers Asked to be Cautious Around School Buses

During the opening week of school this week in North Carolina, a 7-year-old girl died after she was struck by a vehicle as she ran to her school bus. In her excitement to climb aboard, the girl sprinted into the path of an approaching vehicle as she advanced toward the bus. Unfortunately, a tragic occurrence like this can happen anywhere, and it reminds us all to stay alert as children return to school.

There have been more than 1,200 school transportation-related crashes since 2001, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of those crashes, nearly 1,400 people died, and more than 120 of the deceased were school-age minors who were either struck by another vehicle or a school bus. Nearly 50 percent of those students are between the ages of 5 and 7.

Many drivers find school buses an obstacle and try hard to get around them before they make another stop. While drivers may be aware of their surroundings, children waiting for school buses may not be and can run into the road without any warning.

The Michigan Department of Education offers the following tips for motorists to help keep children safe around school zones and school buses:

  • Always follow posted speed limits and traffic laws.
  • Slow down whenever a school bus driver flashes yellow lights, as this warning indicates that the bus is about to stop or has stopped.
  • Halt your vehicle immediately at a minimum of 20 feet from a school bus when the bus driver flashes red lights, extends a stop arm and/or maneuvers the front of the bus slightly toward the center of the street, as these warnings indicate that the driver is about to load or unload students.
  • Wait for the school bus driver to turn off these lights and raise the arm, if applicable, and then continue down the street before taking your foot off your vehicle's brake pedal and pressing its accelerator pedal.
  • Remain alert around school buses at all times. Watch out for students, parents and other pedestrians crossing streets before, during and after a bus slows, stops or initiates warnings.
  • Remain alert long after a bus leaves, as some students who fail to catch their buses run out into traffic without paying attention.
  • Watch out also in your neighborhood, workplace or while out and about when pulling onto or leaving roadways.

Our Michigan personal injury attorneys join with the state’s law enforcement agencies and school administrations in reminding motorists to be extra cautious over the next few weeks as children return to school.  We also encourage parents and adults to make sure their children know to look both ways before crossing the street, and to wait for the bus to stop before crossing the street.

A Michigan Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver in Michigan, you have a legal right to seek compensation. But you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, so it’s important to contact a Michigan car accident lawyer without delay. We will handle the necessary paperwork to make sure you don’t miss the deadline. If you have been injured in a car accident, we can help you and your family obtain a fair settlement.

We respond promptly to telephone calls and report regularly on developments in cases. Call The Michigan Injury Lawyers at 866-577-7215, or contact us online. If there is no recovery in your case, there is no fee for our services.