The top truck accident attorneys of Passen & Powell have often written on the dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving is a danger not only in casual, everyday drivers, but in commercial drivers, as well.
Truck drivers can cause distracted driving accidents in many ways: talking on cellphones, texting, using CB radios, adjusting radios and other music players, eating or drinking while driving, and many more. In fact, when people think of distracted commercial drivers causing accidents, they almost exclusively think of truck drivers.
Yet just as truck drivers are not the only type of commercial drivers, they are likewise no the only type of commercial drivers who cause accidents. One type of commercial driver often overlooked is bus drivers: both public transportation, private chartered buses and, yes, even school buses.
In fact, just weeks ago, a distracted driving accident in Bradenton, Florida demonstrated that school bus drivers, too, can cause such accidents.
The bus in question was carrying 40 students when it crashed into the back end of a large commercial semi truck. Twenty-two of the students, together with the bus driver himself, were injured in the crash and taken to area hospitals for treatment. The truck driver was unharmed and, mercifully, there were no fatalities.
The distracted driving behavior in this case was unique to school bus drivers. The driver, known to his students as “Mr. Charles,” was reprimanding a student at the time of the accident. In fact, he turned around to face the students, facing away from the road, while the threatened to write the student up for misbehavior, even brandishing the write-up pad at him.
Many students thus saw the truck before the bus hit it, and braced for impact prior to the collision. The driver, turned completely away from the road, had no such opportunity.
As a result, the bus continued moving even after it struck the truck, which failed to stop it. One of the students then attempted to brake the truck, which eventually came to rest around 500 yards from where it struck the truck.
Authorities are currently investigating the incident fully, although the cause of the accident is already well-established from the many student accounts. Our bus accident attorneys hope that all drivers take a lesson from this accident: buses are not immune from accidents, and under the right circumstances can cause just as much damage as commercial trucks.
For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago distracted driving lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.