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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

Stop, Look, and Listen: A Call for Bus Driver Safety

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A collision between a school bus and sport utility vehicle sent five students to area hospitals. According to the police report, the bus driver lost control for unknown reasons and slammed into the SUV. There were 30 children aboard the school bus at the time. Five were treated and released at an area hospital. One student reportedly sustained cuts on her head.

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but the question still remains as to why the bus driver lost control. Was the pavement wet? Was the driver distracted by behavior on the bus, a cell phone, texting? Did the SUV pull out in front of the bus allowing little time for the bus driver to stop? Only a thorough investigation can undercover the answers.

A school bus is a large, heavy vehicle. When another vehicle pulls in front of a bus, the bus driver must slow down quickly to avoid a collision. They cannot stop on a dime like a small car and it takes two to three times the distance for a bus to stop safely. Additionally, tailgating is dangerous. The risk of a rear-end collision is much too great.

School bus drivers are trusted with the care of dozens of children each day. Parents rely on them to be safe, cautious, reliable and trustworthy. This is especially important during heavy traffic and in the winter months when conditions are more dangerous. The challenge is to balance following road safety rules and ensuring children are safely at all times. Here are a few bus driver safety tips:

  1. Turn on headlights when visibility is poor.
  2. Use low beams when the weather is wet.
  3. Allow more braking time in wet, snowy, and icy conditions.
  4. Keep light lenses clean for maximum brightness.
  5. Drive slower in heavy traffic and congested areas.
  6. Use extra caution at intersections and railroads crossings. Don’t assume that other drivers can, or will stop.
  7. Keep a safe driving distance between you and other vehicles, especially in wet, snowy, and icy conditions.
  8. Slow down very early for intersections, downgrades and curves.
    Avoid taking curves too fast or making sudden movement to avoid skidding.
    Allow plenty of time to change lanes.

If you are a bus driver remember, you are holding several lives in your hands. And, as a general rule for all drivers, remember that by driving safely you can prevent accidents, save time and money, and most importantly save lives.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.