It’s only Tuesday, but there have already been multiple accidents involving buses this week in the Tampa Bay area. On Monday, an accident between a Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus and a pickup truck led to multiple people sustaining minor injuries. Police report that the bus stopped to drop off passengers on 49th Street North when the pickup truck hit the bus from behind. The driver of the truck and 13 of the 35 passengers on the bus were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Charges against the driver are pending according to police.
On Tuesday morning, two school buses in Bradenton collided when one bus failed to stop in time to avoid rear-ending the other that had stopped in traffic. The bus that got hit had 48 students on board, while the other carried 26 students. Police say eight students from the bus that got hit and seven from the other bus were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.
While no one was seriously injured in either of these accidents, the sheer size and weight of buses often give passengers a false sense of security. While buses are larger than most other vehicles in the road, bus passengers are not immune from injury. One of the most dangerous aspects of buses is that they rarely have seatbelts and passengers not wearing a seat belt are at a much higher risk for serious injury in an accident.
While the above stories provide examples of bus passengers sustaining injuries, drivers also need to be aware of the serious damage that buses often inflict on other vehicles in an accident. Just a few months ago Floridians were tragically reminded of this fact when two young girls from Seminole County were killed in a crash involving a school bus. The two girls, ages 7 and 11, were passengers in a car that was struck in the passenger side after it turned left in front of a Seminole County bus. The bus driver and passengers were not injured.
Buses, much like large trucks, are inherently dangerous to smaller passenger vehicles on the road. The size and weight of buses make it much more difficult to maneuver and brake to avoid accidents. Sure, bus drivers are specifically licensed to drive vehicles of that size, but that doesn’t mean bus drivers aren’t prone to the same dangerous habits that other drivers are. Recently, a 14-year-old student captured a video of her bus driver texting behind the wheel of a Hillsborough County school bus. It’s shocking to think that a person entrusted with the protection of children would careless enough to place both her passengers and other drivers on the road in such danger. Luckily no one was injured.
Stories like this are a reminder of just how dangerous Florida’s roadways can be. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of an automobile accident involving a bus, the advice and representation of an experienced personal injury attorney is vital to ensuring that you are fully compensated for your injuries. The attorneys at Dolman Law Group have extensive experience representing victims in all types of automobile accidents. For more information or a free consultation please call 727-451-6900.