Motorists Need to Stay Especially Alert in Fall

As the days grow shorter and fall brings school buses to the road, it is important for drivers to be extra aware of safety. Two recent traffic collisions in the Richmond area illustrate the point.

A 75-year-old woman was killed in a car that ran off a road and struck a church building in Chesterfield at 3 a.m. on Sept. 2. The driver was charged with reckless driving in the accident, which injured several others.

The most dangerous time to drive is at night, and almost half of all auto accidents take place after dark. Even worse, the fatality rate for nighttime accidents is three times higher than for crashes that happen during the day.

Dangerous driving is more common at night, when drivers are more likely to be intoxicated, not wearing seatbelts and disregarding speed limits.

On Sept. 13, a car rear-ended a school bus in Chester, and two people were sent to the hospital. The hood of the car was crushed underneath the back of the school bus, which is a common problem when a smaller vehicle crashes into a large truck or bus. The accident took place just after 4 p.m., and luckily there was only one child onboard. Neither the bus driver nor the student was injured.

Since 2002, 1,352 people have died in school transportation-related crashes—an average of 135 fatalities a year. Most of those killed or injured are pedestrians struck by buses or students riding in cars that have accidents. From 2002-2011, 95 people including 41 bus drivers and 54 students died in accidents involving school buses.

The agency offers tips to help keep kids safe at bus stops and on buses:

  • Stay five steps from the road when waiting for the bus. Board only when the driver says it is safe to do so.
  • When riding the bus, face the front and follow the driver’s instructions.
  • Watch for cars when getting off the bus. Look left-right-left to check for cars and look to the driver to signal that it is safe to cross the street.

If you or a family member has been harmed in a car, truck, bus or motorcycle accident, talk to a Virginia personal injury attorney who is ready to help. Our dedicated legal staff is committed to our clients and cases.