12/11/09   |   By

Bus Accidents Prevalent, Safe Driving Required | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

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 Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner

Children all across America take buses to school.  It is usually a safe mode of transportation.  Unfortunately, according to AAA, “each year, nationally, about 19 school aged children are killed in school transportation-related traffic crashes. On average, 5 are passengers on the bus and 14 are pedestrians.”  Many more suffer non-fatal injuries.

I recently represented a woman who was struck by a bus. She almost lost her leg.  To hear her story, please click here. She is one of many clients that I have represented, and still do represent, who have endured tragic, life-altering injuries as a result of carelessness on the road.  Another client of mine is a student who was hit by a passenger vehicle that failed to stop behind a bus that slowed for my client, a pedestrian. She suffered a tragic brain injury.  I have too many stories like these to tell.  Careless driving can change lives forever in a moment.

Here are some useful tips to remember to maximize safety:


  • Watch for children at bus stops and for children walking to and from bus stops.
  • Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean that a bus is preparing to stop. Do not try to beat the bus! Begin slowing and prepare to stop your vehicle.
  • Red flashing lights indicate that a bus has stopped to load or unload children. Be very aware and pay close attention. Stop your car and wait for the lights to stop flashing before you move your vehicle. Passing a loading or unloading school bus is reckless driving!


  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Remain orderly at the bus stop and pay attention to traffic. This is no place to play.
  • Obey the School Safety Patrol.
  • Stand at least 5 giant steps (10 feet) away from the edge of the road.


  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps or dangling objects do not get caught in the handrail or door when exiting the bus.
  • If you must cross the road to enter the bus, walk in front of the bus; never walk behind the bus.
  • Wait for a signal from the driver.


  • Walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead.
  • Be sure the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  • Stop at the edge of the bus and look left-right before crossing.
  • Tell the bus driver if you drop something beside the bus. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.
  • Be alert to all traffic.”

Please drive safely this holiday season and always.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” whose practice is dedicated to representing people in catastrophic personal injury matters, including serious truck and car collisions. He has successfully litigated numerous cases against distracted drivers of buses, tractor-trailers, other trucks, and cars. Mr. Zambri’s firm has also obtained the largest settlement ever in a case involving the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.  Mr. Zambri has also been named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.

Mr. Zambri has authored an article regarding how automobile collision cases are evaluated.  To read it, please click here.

Many Americans are killed or critically injured each year in vehicular collisions.  If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at [email protected] or call him at 202-822-1899.

Regan Zambri Long
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