As in-person schooling resumes, more children will be using Massachusetts school buses to get to and from school and after-school activities. Although school buses tend to be one of the safest ways to transport children to school, accidents resulting in serious injuries continue to occur. School bus accidents do not only include incidents involving motor vehicle collisions but other events such as falling while on the bus or being struck by the door while boarding or de-boarding. Massachusetts school bus accidents can be traumatizing to the children, parents, and school at large.
For instance, recently, a local news report described a Shrewsbury school bus crash on a busy Massachusetts roadway. According to witnesses, the school bus was making a left turn when a semi-truck collided with the bus. Emergency personnel were called to the scene and began transporting the children into ambulances. Fortunately, the bus driver and the injured children were discharged from the hospital with limited physical injuries. However, some children reported that they are continuing to experience anxiety following the collision. Parents told reporters that they reported the unsafe conditions of Route 20 and requested traffic signals; however, the city did not take any actions to remedy the dangerous road.
Massachusetts school bus accidents tend to be complex and require a thorough understanding of state and federal laws surrounding liability and immunity. However, there are many factors that courts will consider when determining fault and apportioning liability. For instance, the law does not require school buses to maintain seat belts, and most do not have them. The lack of seat belts can cause a child to be thrown or fall over when the bus driver brakes too hard or is involved in a collision. Further, in some cases, districts and city officials design unsafe bus stop locations.