Bus Accident in Nashville Injures 23 Students
A Chester County school bus flipped in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 in Nashville late Friday morning, causing 23 students to suffer injuries—and two were reported to be in critical condition in a local hospital.
Per a report by WKRN.com, the accident occurred just before 11 a.m. near Briley Parkway on I-65 when the driver of the bus—a 28-year-old woman from Henderson, Tennessee—lost control of the vehicle.
The driver later told officers with Metro Nashville Police that the accident happened when she got off the ramp and suddenly felt that the bus was becoming difficult to steer. An officer with the MNPD says that tracks on the roadway indicated that she lost control.
A total of 46 people were on the bus at the time of the crash—43 students, two chaperones, and the driver. 23 of the victims were transported by ambulances to local hospitals to receive treatment for their injuries, while 20 other victims were also transported to a nearby hospital to receive check-ups as a precautionary measure.
Most of the victims suffered only minor and superficial injuries, but five students remained hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Other students were transported to TriStar Skyline Medical Center and TriStar Centennial Medical Center.
What Are Common Causes of School Bus Accidents?
You trust that your children will be safe when they ride buses to and from school or on field trips, sports trips, and band trips. And while school buses are often a safe way to transport large numbers of children and teenagers, they can pose dangers when they are involved in accidents—especially when they aren’t equipped with seat belts or other important vehicle safety features.
Some of the most common causes of bus accidents include the following:
- Driver error
School bus drivers must hold CDLs that indicate that they are qualified to drive oversized vehicles. In addition, they also must pass a special knowledge and skills test to receive an endorsement that shows they are qualified to drive school buses. Despite these requirements, some drivers are prone to accident-causing errors, such as improperly negotiating curves, following too closely, or failing to yield.
- Driver fatigue
Some bus drivers are required to drive long distances, especially on field trips, sports trips, and band trips. When drivers are behind the wheel for extended periods of time without a break, they may become fatigued and even sleepy. Drivers who are exhausted due to spending too many hours on the road are far more likely to cause accidents than drivers who are well-rested.
- Driver impairment and intoxication
Safely driving a bus requires focus, good judgment, quick reaction times, and the ability to navigate tight turns in a large vehicle—all while dealing with high volumes and constant potential distractions. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may lack the ability to make good decisions behind the wheel. At high levels of intoxication, they also may lack the fine motor skills to maintain control of their buses on the roadway.
- Mechanical failure
Not all bus accidents are due to driver error or negligence. Some may be due to buses that are old, worn out, and poorly maintained. When a school district supplies buses to its drivers, the district is responsible for making sure the buses are serviced on a regular basis and that they are safe to drive every day. When they fail to do so, serious accidents can occur due to things like wheel loss, transmission and brake failure, and tire blowouts.
Bus accidents have the potential to injure and even kill dozens of people. That’s why it’s vital for both bus drivers and bus owners/operators to do everything in their power to drive safely and schedule regular maintenance and repairs. Committing to safe driving practices and following recommended service schedules can significantly reduce the risk of most types of bus accidents.
If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you may feel helpless—especially if he or she required expensive treatment at a hospital. The Nashville bus accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law know how difficult this time can be for you. When you contact us, we’ll do everything in our power to help you recover compensation for your child’s medical bills and pain and suffering. Dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form to find out how we can assist you.