School Bus Accidents: Florida Bus Crash Inspires New Standards

A fatal Port St. Lucie school bus accident from 2012 has prompted federal endorsement of safer seatbelts for students. The crash that injured dozens of people claimed the life of nine-year-old student Aaron Beauchamp when his school bus driver turned directly into the path of a large truck. At the time of impact, onboard surveillance video showed students being whipped about, despite wearing the standard lap belt that comes equipped on all school buses nationwide.

Since the accident, the Nation Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) has committed to totally revamping the safety standards for school buses.

A joint study and presentation by Dr. Kris Poland, an investigator for the NTSB, and Dr. Kristy Arbogast of the Children’s Hospital in Pennsylvania have clearly demonstrated the need for lap and shoulder belts on school buses. The 3-point seatbelts are not yet federally mandated, but many families of children injured or killed in school bus crashes are working towards seeing that put in place.

Buses and especially school buses are generally trusted as safe modes of transportation. Accidents on buses tend to be very dangerous and even deadly because seatbelts are not universally used or required. Typical injuries from these accidents include:

  • Head traumas.
  • Traumatic brain injury.
  • Spinal cord damage.
  • Broken bones and lacerations.
  • Whiplash.
  • Death.

Often a school bus accident can be traced to driver error or even defective equipment on the bus itself. If you or someone you know is the victim of a dangerous bus accident, please contact an experienced Florida accident attorney.

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, our attorneys have more than 250 years of combined legal experience. There is no cost for our services unless we make a recovery on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys. We look forward to speaking with you.