How the school bus driver shortage endangers everyone

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Safety

The new school year got off to a rough start in Louisville, Kentucky, last month when a “transportation disaster,” as officials called it, stranded children trying to get home and caused schools to be closed while they worked to resolve the issue.

Part of the problem was a new routing system that was intended to improve the efficiency of Jefferson County school buses. Apparently, the algorithms on which it relied didn’t allow for enough time in between scheduled stops – throwing everything into chaos.

The problem was exacerbated by an ongoing shortage of school bus drivers. This is nothing new – or unique to this area. Bus drivers have been increasingly retiring over the past few years or moving to jobs that pay more money. However, Louisville had to reduce the number of school bus routes it has – leading to further confusion.

More cars, pedestrians and inexperienced bus drivers

As school districts throughout Kentucky, Ohio and the rest of the country grapple with a serious driver shortage – and in some cases, labor strikes — everyone who uses the roads is likely to feel the effect. There are more stressed-out and/or inexperienced bus drivers on the road, driving unfamiliar routes. More parents are trying to fit school drop-offs and pick-ups into their already overscheduled lives. More children of all ages are biking or walking to school.

Once children are on the school bus, they’re generally safe. School bus crashes make up a tiny fraction of all fatal collisions. However, too many kids are fatally struck by vehicles (sometimes even by school buses) as they approach, leave or wait at a school bus stop. Often, these collisions occur because drivers don’t exercise the appropriate caution – or obey the law – when around school buses or driving in school zones.

Whatever aspect of this issue is behind a collision in which you or a loved one has been injured or worse as the result of another driver’s negligence, it’s crucial to make sure you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Having experienced legal guidance can help.

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