School bus-related crashes killed 108 people nationwide in 2021, up 50% compared to the pandemic-related low number of 54 deaths in 2020, according to National Safety Council (NSC) tabulations of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A school bus-related crash is defined by NHTSA as any crash in which a vehicle, regardless of body design, used as a school bus is directly or indirectly involved. This includes incidents involving school children getting in or out of a vehicle.
From 2012 to 2021, about 70% of the deaths in school bus-related crashes were occupants of vehicles other than the school bus, and 16% were pedestrians. About 5% were school bus passengers, 5% were school bus drivers, and 3% were pedal cyclists. Of the people injured in school bus-related crashes from 2012 to 2021, about 30% were school bus passengers, 9% were school bus drivers, and 53% were occupants of other vehicles. The remainder were pedestrians, pedal cyclists, and other or unknown.
Florida is no exception to the bus crash trends, with some of the most common causes of bus accidents being fatigue, distraction, speeding, and aggressive overtaking. In certain Florida accident cases, punitive damage awards can increase the victim’s compensation significantly. Punitive damages require special permission from the court in addition to evidence that the defendant was grossly negligent or acted with intention or wanton disregard for the safety of others. In Florida, punitive damages are capped at triple the amount of the compensatory damages, resulting in extremely large awards when they are allowed. A recent local news article discussed a serious Florida school bus accident.
According to the local news article, the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed that four children were taken to the hospital on the afternoon of Friday, September 27, after a bus crashed in Marion County. Florida Highway Patrol troopers said that the bus was driving west along County Road 464 shortly after 3 p.m. when traffic ahead reportedly came to an “abrupt stop.” According to reports, the bus driver steered the bus onto a grassy area off the road to avoid the crash. The departure from the road caused the bus to overturn onto its left side. According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, 18 children were on the bus at the time of the crash, the four of those children were taken to Advent Health of Ocala following the crash.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Florida Car or Truck Accident?
If you or someone you love has been injured or died in a Florida bus accident, let the attorneys at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada fight to help you recover the damages you deserve. Expenses and injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can quickly become overwhelming, and having an experienced roster of accident attorneys by your side can make a world of difference in the compensation you receive. Our experienced Florida attorneys have successfully represented injury victims at every stage of their claims, ensuring that they obtain the damages that they deserve. With our team, you can have faith that your claim is being pursued properly by lawyers who know Florida law. If you have questions about your case, call us today at 877-448-8585 and schedule a free and no-obligation initial consultation with a Florida injury lawyer at our office.