Distracted driving is a huge problem in the United States. Every day, people are injured and killed in accidents that could have been prevented if the driver had been paying attention to the road. This article will take a look at how many school bus accidents in Florida were caused by distracted driving of Uber or Lyft each year.
If you, your child, or someone you know were involved in a school bus accident in Hallandale Beach that was caused by distracted driving and involved Uber or Lyft, it is best to contact Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney. Jared’s team of lawyers can advise you on how to proceed with your legal case. They can also assist you in filing an insurance claim to recover compensation for your personal injury and lost wages.
School Bus Accident Statistics
Riding a school bus is the daily routine of most school children in Florida and in the entire country. School districts are in charge of the operation of these school buses to ensure that safety regulations are met. These districts are also in charge of hiring school bus drivers who pass the qualifications required by law to operate a school bus.
Because a school bus is one of the most regulated vehicles, many fatal bus crashes can be avoided. Thus, school bus accidents are less common than car accidents.
This is because school buses are equipped with features that ensure the safety of school bus passengers. Seat belt safety measures, stopping at designated bus stops, and the requirements for bus drivers are just a few of the safety measures in place that help reduce the number of school bus accidents yearly.
However, this does not mean that a school bus accident does not occur. Although school bus transportation is the top choice of most parents and school administrators, a school bus-related crash can still become a fatal crash, especially if it involves other vehicles. It is even deadlier when school bus accidents involve several passengers and rideshare vehicles like Uber or Lyft as more people are involved in the crash. But how many school bus crashes are there per year?
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported that from 2010 to 2019, there were 1,080 school bus-related accidents. In this 10-year period, fatal bus crashes led to 1,199 fatalities. The number of fatalities involved 126 persons who were riding the school bus – passengers and bus drivers. While 203 pedestrians who were not inside the school buses at the time of the accident were killed
Further data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that from 2019 to 2021, 282 Florida school buses were involved in an accident. Additionally, 273 of these crashes were school bus-related crashes that involved other vehicles.
What are the most common causes of school bus accidents?
In Florida, a school bus accident can be caused by a variety of factors. About a quarter of fatal collisions were caused by other drivers who crashed into school buses. But many school bus accidents are also caused by school bus drivers who were distracted while operating the vehicle.
Bus Driver’s Fault
A school bus driver can cause an accident involving school buses and other vehicles. Likewise, the driver of the other vehicle involved can also be found to be at fault for the accident. Several factors come into play when talking about the driver’s fault.
The accident may have been caused by driver fatigue, drowsy driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs, or negligence. Often, a truck driver who has been driving for several hours can cause a deadly collision with a school bus. Uber drivers can also suffer from fatigue from long hours of driving, resulting in an accident. But sometimes, the school bus driver himself is the one at fault.
In Florida, negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable care while operating a vehicle. This means that the driver did not exercise caution while driving and, as a result, an accident occurred. To prove negligence, it must be shown that the driver owed a duty of care to the victim, breached this duty, and caused an accident that resulted in injuries or death.
Aside from operating the school bus, school bus drivers are also responsible for the children on board. These drivers should remind the children to fasten their safety belts to reduce the risk of personal injury.
In most personal injury cases caused by a school bus accident in Florida, you are required to file a claim with your personal injury protection coverage first before thinking of suing the driver at fault. It is important to know the steps of filing an insurance claim in Florida to ensure that you and your child are protected. The best way to ensure that you are well protected is to seek a free case evaluation from Jared.
Failure to Abide by Road Rules
School buses are highly regulated to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities in case of an accident. However, these safety regulations will be useless if the school bus driver and other motorists fail to abide by road rules.
One of the most important laws in Florida that involve a school bus is the School Bus Stop Law. The School Bus Stop Law requires all vehicles to stop when the school bus stop sign is out. This law gives enough time for children to ride the bus, exit the bus, and cross the street.
Similarly, Uber or Lyft vehicles must pass the company’s stringent requirements before being allowed to operate as rideshare vehicles. All Uber and Lyft drivers also carry insurance coverage from Uber or Lyft during a ride that will provide additional protection in case of an accident.
Vehicles in Poor Condition
A mechanical defect is any problem with the vehicle that makes it unsafe to drive. This can be a problem with the brakes, steering, or tires. A defective part can cause an accident if it fails while the vehicle is in motion.
School districts are responsible for maintaining the condition of the school buses to make sure that it passes safety requirements as mandated by the state. This means that they must schedule the school buses for regular maintenance to ensure the safety of the children on board. On the other hand, Uber and Lyft vehicles are personal vehicles that each Uber driver or Lyft driver must maintain to ensure the safety of the passengers.
Poor Road Conditions
Road hazards are anything that makes driving more difficult or dangerous. This can include potholes, construction, and debris on the road. If a school bus, Uber or Lyft vehicle hits a pothole, it can cause the tires to blow out or the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Bad weather conditions can also lead to a school bus accident involving Uber or Lyft. If the roads are icy or wet, it can be more difficult for the bus driver to control the vehicle. This can result in the bus sliding off the road or into oncoming traffic.
Distracted Driving in Florida
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. This can include talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, or changing the radio station. It is another major cause of school bus accidents that affect thousands of children. How many school bus accidents were caused by distracted driving of Uber or Lyft every year?
A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that distracted driving was a factor in 16% of all fatal crashes in the United States. This means that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in the country.
In Florida, there were a total of 416,000 car accidents in 2017. Of these accidents, 18% were caused by distracted driving. This means that distracted driving is a major problem in the state of Florida. Currently, there are no exact numbers on the incidents involving distracted driving by Uber drivers. But since Uber vehicles are passenger vehicles, this data will suffice for now.
School bus drivers face multiple distractions daily. Because they are responsible for the safety of the children on board, it is important for school bus drivers to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Likewise, Uber or Lyft drivers are carrying riders to and from different locations every day. Thus, Uber and Lyft drivers are responsible for the safety of their passengers.
Distractions Inside the Vehicle
School bus drivers transport children to and from school on most days of the week. Although school buses are equipped with seat belts, emergency exits, and other safety features, distractions can still be present. Rowdy students and children can roam around the bus while moving, make loud and sudden noises, get into fights, and so on. In Uber or Lyft vehicles, unruly or drunk passengers can cause a loud and distracting commotion that will affect the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle. All these can distract the driver and cause an accident.
Distractions Outside the Vehicle
External distractions involve other vehicles. Most of the time, the driver of the other vehicle is not focused on the road, causing them to collide with the school bus and cause several injuries.
Personal or self-inflicted distractions are those that affect the driver directly. These include the use of a mobile phone while driving, eating, drinking, changing the radio station, and other activities that divert the focus of the driver.
What is the best thing to do after being involved in a bus crash with Uber or Lyft?
If you are involved in a bus accident with an Uber or Lyft, the first thing you should do is to stay calm and check for injuries. If you or someone else is injured, call 911 immediately. Once the police and medical help have arrived, you should exchange insurance information with the other driver. You should also take pictures of the accident scene and get the contact information of any witnesses.
Distracted driving can cause thousands of injuries annually. In the worst accident, it can cause several fatalities. If your child was a passenger on the school bus or you were riding an Uber or Lyft, distracted driving is out of your control. It is best to speak to a lawyer from Jared’s law firm as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Can I file a claim against Uber or Lyft?
An accident involving either Uber or Lyft begs the question of who is responsible. Yes, you can file a claim against these ridesharing companies but it will depend on the details of the accident. The following situations will help determine who you should file a claim against after a school bus accident involving Uber or Lyft.
- File a claim against Uber or Lyft when the rideshare driver was logged in the app and waiting for a ride request. In this case, you may be entitled to receive compensation up to the following amounts:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $25,000 for property damage
- File a claim against Uber or Lyft when the rideshare driver was currently en route or had a rideshare passenger at the time of the accident. In this case, you may be entitled to receive higher compensation than in the previous situation:
- At least $1,000,000 for bodily injury and property damage liability
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
- Comprehensive coverage with a $2,500 deductible – applies only if the rideshare driver has comprehensive coverage for his vehicle.
But what if the accident occurred while the rideshare driver was offline in the Uber or Lyft app? In this case, you must file a claim against the personal auto insurance of the driver involved. To be sure which situation applies to you, schedule a consultation with Jared so you can fully understand your legal rights after the accident.
How many school bus accidents were caused by distracted driving of Uber or Lyft every year? Thousands of accidents can be caused by distracted driving. These school bus accidents can affect the children riding the bus, Uber and Lyft passengers, and drivers both physically and mentally. Experiencing a motor vehicle crash is a traumatic experience that many people may have difficulty coping with.
To ensure that you are well protected after a school bus accident involving Uber or Lyft, get a free case evaluation from the law offices of Jared Spingarn. Their team of lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve while building a good attorney-client relationship to help put you at ease.
>> If you’re involved in a bus accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on their Contact Us page.