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Rules for Driving Around A School Bus In California


How to Safely Drive Around a School Bus -- Insight From the Best Bus Accident Lawyers


Drivers must follow a set of safety rules to prevent accidents from happening. This includes:

  • Prevent yourself from being in a blind spot. School buses typically have blind spots that could be in its front, back, or sides. If you do not have a clear view of the bus driver when looking at the side mirror, then make the assumption that they are not able to see you either. An individual caught in this type of circumstance should either slow down or move ahead to remain visible to the bus driver. If you are moving ahead, use caution when doing so. You do not want to have a safety issue where you are in a blind spot with a bus.
  • Pass safely. Make sure you have a good visual of the bus driver through their side mirror prior to passing them. You should signal when you are moving and accelerate to pass by the bus in a safe manner. Do not stay behind in the blind spot. You need to be visible to the bus driver before you try to pull in front, but make sure you have extra space before doing so.

If you notice a bus driver trying to merge into your lane, give them extra space to go in front of you. Speeding up to pass them is a negligent act since you are risking yours and the bus driver’s life. Making an attempt at speeding past a bus driver will potentially make it difficult for them to have a clear visual of you. They could merge into your lane without even noticing you speeding by. This is why it is important to make sure that you give them additional room to go into your lane. It is an overall safe approach to the situation. 

  • Do not cut too close to the bus. If you abruptly go too close to the front of the bus, you will create a dangerous situation. Moving quickly into another lane would most likely leave you in a blind spot so the bus driver may not see you in time to react. Regardless of whether or not you are visible, it is not recommended for you to do a fast lane change since the consequences will result in a collision between you and the bus driver. You need to give bus drivers enough time to react when you make an attempt at cutting in front of them. 
  • Distance yourself from the bus. Avoid tailgating a school bus, especially due to the fact that it puts you in a blind spot. Failing to stop in time will cause your vehicle to get into an accident with the school bus. Not only will you be putting yourself in harm’s way, but you will also involve the bus driver and several other children, as well. 
  • Remain patient. Even though school buses do not drive as fast as other vehicles, you should not use that as an excuse to honk or get frustrated. Doing so will increase your chances of getting involved in a crash. You need to put your focus on following the road rules rather than exhibiting anger and reckless driving to try passing a school bus. Stay patient and drive safely to avoid any mishaps from occurring. 
  • Wear your seatbelt. You should wear your seatbelt at all times. This will protect you from experiencing intense injuries from an accident.  
  • Stay focused on the road. Prevent yourself from getting distracted by a text or call. A distracted driver is the equivalent to an impaired driver. Your phone is not as important as your life. Put your full attention on making sure that you are driving safely and you are not endangering other people’s lives, especially when you are driving behind a school bus. 
  • Do not drive while fatigued. Try to take regular breaks if you are driving while fatigued. You may also have another individual drive you to your desired location. Lastly, you could pull to the side of the road and rest up. 
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Being intoxicated or on drugs while operating a vehicle will get you into serious consequences. You will not be able to appropriately perform the actions that are needed when near or behind a school bus. You will increase the chances of getting into a bus accident. If you are taking prescribed drugs, make sure to speak to your doctor about the effects it could have on you when you are driving your car.

 

Penalties


If you perform an action that is a school bus-related violation, you will face a penalty charge for it. In California, a first offense will get you a fine of $150 to $250 and 1 point. Second offense will be a fine of $500 to $1,000. Third offense is getting a license suspension for 1 year.

Available Damages


Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss  of Enjoyment of Life
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Limitations For Damages In California

For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.

However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non economic losses is $250,000.

Contact Us


If you were involved in a school bus accident and you want to sue the individual at fault for causing it, West Coast Trial Lawyers has bus accident attorneys that will commit to making sure that you have a satisfactory end result to your settlement. We will help you get financial and emotional compensation for the damages that were caused from the collision. This includes medical bills, lost wages, property damage, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. There are no financial risks involved when using our services. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. No fees are charged until your case has been settled. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected]

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If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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