When driving in the early morning or late afternoon, we, as drivers, share the roads with school buses. These school buses carry small and young children on their way to or back from school. As you may know, to the law requires drivers to always stop when school buses are stopped with their stop sign extended and flashing red lights. The purpose of this Illinois law is to protect the lives and well-being of students by making drivers aware of buses with the hope of preventing bus accidents.
According to reports by WIFR, a collision between a school bus and a truck left four people injured. The accident occurred on Pacatonica Road, south of Montague Road, in Ogle County, Illinois. According to the Ogle County Sheriff, the bus driver pulled over to let a student off, when the pick-up truck hit the bus head on. Four individuals were injured as a result of the collision: two children, the bus driver, and the truck driver. The accident is still currently under investigation.
While the exact cause of this accident is not yet known, after reading about this accident our attorneys wanted to remind readers of the importance of yielding to school buses. According to an article by the Illinois State Board of Education, other vehicles on the road pose a great danger to children on school buses, particularly when they do not yield to a stopped bus. However, it is the law to yield to stopped school buses, per Illinois Vehicle Code in Sections 5/11-1414, 5/11-1415, 5/12-803, 5/12-805, and 5/12-807.2. No drivers are exempt from following these laws, and this applies both on and off of school property. For instance, when traveling on a two-lane road, and a school bus stops to pick up or drop off a student, vehicles in all lanes of traffic must stop. Furthermore, when a school bus is on a four-lane road, those traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop.
While all drivers already have a legal duty of care to not be the cause of injury to others on the road by using caution and keeping from negligent behavior, this is even more important around children. Children cannot defend themselves from the dangers of the roads because they are more often than not very unaware and naïve to roadway dangers. These young people often do not understand the dangers of moving vehicles. Children can be easily distracted, can cross streets without warning, and may not see oncoming traffic. They also have trouble understanding and judging speed and distance. Most children who are injured or killed on a school bus are injured or killed outside the bus due to motorists who do not stop for the flashing red lights and stop sign.
Bus accidents can be preventable where drivers use caution and abide by the laws. Our attorneys handle Illinois bus accident lawsuits for victims who have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence and recklessness of other drivers. Unfortunately, bus accidents are common, and can cause life-changing personal injuries. If you, or a young child in your family, have been injured in a bus accident, you may have a legal claim in which you can hold the wrongdoer liable for negligence and obtain compensation for your injuries and suffering. Call our law firm today, and we may be able to help you with your case.