Injury to a child is one of the most heartbreaking tragedies parents can experience. Even when the injury is accidental and relatively minor, a parent—in fact, most adults—will find the incident profoundly disturbing. If the child suffers a lifelong disability, obvious disfigurement, paralysis, or the end of his young life, words fail us.
When the injury comes from a largely preventable cause, such as a bus accident, we are even more upset.
A news report out of Kentucky recently highlighted the problem of children injured in bus crashes. According to reporters, a commercial bus collision with an automobile three many of the bus’s passengers—children on a field trip conducted by a YMCA Day Camp—from their seats. A dozen children had to be taken to a nearby children’s hospital for treatment, but none of the injuries was believed to be serious. The police do not expect to file criminal charges against either driver.
The special vulnerability of children to bus accident injuries
Now, it’s easy to dismiss this as an isolated incident. It’s not. Just a few days later, an eerily similar bus accident involving children took place in Pennsylvania. In this incident, a bus carrying kids from a YMCA summer camp on a swimming pool excursion collided with a tractor-trailer truck and a passenger vehicle. Some 37 children were taken to the hospital, and 11 required emergency room treatment.
Children are victims and potential victims of serious bus accidents with alarming frequency. Of course, children are exposed to dangers from school buses during the academic year, but it’s frightening to recognize the hazards that commercial motorcoaches, tour buses, and charter buses pose to young people. Unskilled or negligent bus drivers can harm child pedestrians or bicyclists.
Children aged 10 to 17 are also frequent passengers on commercial buses, and are subject to severe injuries from a variety of commercial motorcoach accidents, caused by factors such as:
- Sudden stops that cause rear-end collisions
- Abrupt lane changes across traffic
- Driving off the road margins, driving across the center line or median, or driving into a standing object or structure
- Driver impairment due to illegal drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication
- Mechanical defects or malfunctions in the vehicle
Get professional advice if your child has suffered a commercial bus injury
There is a persistent myth that childhood injuries aren’t so important. “Kids are still growing, and they’re resilient,” the story goes. “A broken finger or a sprain? It will heal in no time.”
This is simply not true. Childhood bus accident injuries can be long-lasting, or even produce lifelong disability. Medical care, physical therapy, medical equipment, and rehabilitation costs for a seriously injured child can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your child has been injured by the neglectful actions of a bus company or its driver, it is unfair that you and your family should bear the burden of paying for this care…possibly for the length of your child’s life.