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School returns, and so does the possibility of bus accidents

After a quick summer, Baltimore children are heading back to school for another year of fun and learning. Many will be taking the bus to get to school, which can bring its own experiences each morning. It can also result in bus accident injuries for children when things go wrong.

The thought of a child being injured in a bus accident is terrifying for Baltimore parents. But it is all too real for those who experience these incidents.

Bus drivers can exhibit the same types of careless driving as any other motorist on the road. For instance, many bus drivers engage in distracted driving, which may not necessarily involve the use of electronic devices. Drivers often have their minds on something other than the road, be it the next bus stop, disciplining children on the bus or other distractions that may be occurring at the time.

Bus drivers also should be aware of the effect of medications on their ability to drive. Even basic allergy medications often warn against driving a motor vehicle while using the medicine. Given these dangers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Board has urged bus drivers to carefully read the warnings that come with medicine and to be aware of the side effects they may be experiencing, such as drowsiness or other effects that could lead to an accident.

Ultimately, when a bus driver causes injury to those on the bus, or other motorists on the road, the driver may be held liable in a negligence case if the driver was not following the duty of care he or she was required to follow. Bus accidents can be much more tragic because of the young passengers on board, but whether the driver was negligent often revolves around the same issues as other cases.

Source: NTSB Safety Compass, "NTSB reminds school bus drivers to be focused and medically fit for duty," Thomas E. Zoeller, Aug. 21, 2015

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