It is always tragic when a child is killed in a motor vehicle accident. When Illinois parents send their children to school in buses, they expect these vehicles to be safe enough to protect their children in a collision. Unfortunately, as a recent incident illustrated, not all accidents involving school buses are minor.
According to School Transportation News, on October 1, an SUV stopped at a stop sign before continuing through the intersection into the path of an oncoming school bus from the Sullivan County School District. Authorities said the bus struck the SUV driver’s door. The driver of the SUV and a 5-year-old boy, who was on the bus, were killed. Officials were unclear whether the bus was equipped with restraints, but three-point seatbelts are not required on Illinois school buses. Some residents are petitioning for a four-way stop to be placed at the intersection where the bus accident occurred, indicating that it may be a hazardous intersection.
It is unclear if seatbelts would prevent injuries or loss of life in school bus accidents, since these types of collisions are less common than accidents involving other vehicles, and buses do not often travel at high speeds when transporting children to school. However, numerous factors can increase the dangers for children riding school buses, such as other drivers speeding, being distracted or disregarding traffic rules and signs. Those who are impacted in an accident involving a public transportation vehicle may wish to pursue compensation against the person or company deemed to be responsible.