Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Is a tractor-trailer accident the same as an automobile accident?”
Authorities from Morganton, NC say that a number of local Burke County students have been taken to the hospital after their school bus overturned yesterday morning. Officials say that the accident happened on wet roads near a curve about eight miles northwest of Morganton. The accident took place a little after 7:30 in the morning as the children were heading to school. The bus was heading north along Frank Whisnant Road when it dropped off the right shoulder and overturned.
Emergency responders say several children were injured in the accident, though none of the injuries were life-threatening. A total of eight students and the driver were ultimately taken to a Morganton hospital for treatment. Officials with Burke County school system say the bus was loaded with students heading to Oak Hill Elementary School.
So far a specific cause for the accident has not been identified, though police say the rain and wet roads were likely to blame. Officers cited the driver with a lane-control violation and say that the bus driver was partially to blame for allowing the vehicle to drift off the road.
Parents interviewed by local new stations say they aren’t especially upset with the driver, but do think the incident calls into question why school buses lack many basic security features common in passenger vehicles. While the vast majority of parents would never let their young children get into a car without putting on a seatbelt, sadly millions of kids every day hop on board school buses that lack any kind of safety restraint.
Only about 20 percent of the nation’s 480,000 school buses have seat belts available, and only six states — New York, New Jersey, California, Texas, Louisiana and Florida — have laws that begin to address seat belts on school buses. Industry groups have lobbied against other laws, arguing that the cost is prohibitive. Depending on the size, a typical new school bus costs in the vicinity of $75,000 to $85,000. Outfitting a single bus with seat belts can cost anywhere from $5,485 to $7,346.
It’s a shame that money has so much to do with deciding how to protect our most precious cargo. A recently released study by the National Transportation Safety Board found that while school buses are extremely safe, properly worn passenger seat belts make the school bus even safer, especially in severe side impact and rollover collisions. The clear fact is that more can and should be done to protect children.
If you, or someone you know, have any questions regarding personal injury claims, please feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys and lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation. Call at 704-370-2828.
About the Author:
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on Personal Injury, Family Law and Business Litigation. Mr. Arnold began his career handling insurance defense litigation for several major insurance companies. He also went on to handle business litigation cases and high value mortgage fraud cases, primarily in Superior Court.
Mr. Arnold grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Providence Senior High School and continued his education at Belmont Abbey College on a basketball scholarship. After graduating cum laude he attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. In his spare time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time on the North Carolina Coast with his wife and three young children: two daughters and one son.
“9 injured in Burke County school bus crash,” published at WCNC.com.
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