Approximately 16 students were taken to the hospital in Gilmer County, Georgia on Jan 22 when their school bus flipped onto its side in a one-vehicle accident.
The sheriff’s office in Gilmer County stated that the accident occurred on Yukon Road after 3 PM. The bus was carrying children from Clear Creek Middle School when it flipped over. The school district said 16 middle school students were taken to local emergency rooms for the treatment of minor injuries. The driver was not hurt.
According to some of the children on the bus, the driver was distracted because he was looking into the mirror while driving and talking to some of the kids, telling them to sit down and behave. When he looked back down to turn the wheel, the bus slid. The bus driver has been suspended and put on paid leave while the accident is being investigated.
The Georgia State Patrol is looking into what caused the bus accident. It is possible the roads were slick from rain and caused the bus driver to lose control.
Our Virginia personal injury attorneys are glad that no students were seriously injured in this accident. The fact that the bus driver may have caused the accident by being distracted is concerning. It is important for school bus drivers to drive very carefully, given that they are transporting a large number of children. Every year, at least 137 people are killed in school bus related accidents. Hundreds more are hurt.
Interestingly, seat belts generally are not required on school buses. The NHTSA believes the best way to protect students on school buses is through compartmentalization. This means the interior of the school bus is made to protect children in an accident without them having to wear seat belts. Children are protected in accidents by well padded, high and closely spaced seats. In most accidents, children are protected from serious injury from this design.
That is not to say that children and adults cannot be seriously injured in bus accidents. If your children are injured in a school bus crash where the driver of the bus is at fault, you could potentially file a personal injury lawsuit against the school district. Depending upon the facts of the case, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your child’s injuries, including pain and suffering, medical costs and more.