Both public and school bus drivers have a higher duty of care to their passengers and other drivers on the road than do average drivers. If a bus driver violates this level of responsibility, he or she may be held liable for any injuries or damages that occur in an accident. The following considers bus driver responsibilities and how they may apply to a claim after a bus accident.
Always Operate a Bus Sober
One of the most important safety requirements for bus drivers in the state of Pennsylvania is that they refrain from consuming intoxicants while on the job.
Below are the legal limits of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for drivers.
- Passenger car driver: .08 percent
- Commercial driver: .04 percent
- School bus driver: .02 percent
Following all Posted Traffic Laws
All drivers in the state of Pennsylvania are required to be observant of all traffic laws. If a traffic law is violated, and that violation leads to an accident, then the bus driver may be held responsible for damages.
Examples of traffic laws that must be adhered to include the following.
- Driving the speed limit
- Yielding when necessary
- Stopping when traffic signals indicate to do so
The other drivers on the road must know their responsibilities when it comes to driving near school buses, too. When one receives his or her driver license it is understood that s/he knows when to stop for a school bus.
Another responsibility of a bus driver is to exercise common sense in regard to driving conditions. For example, if it’s snowing out, a bus driver should most likely drive at a speed slower than the posted speed limit for safety. Driving at an unreasonable speed for conditions can also lead to a bus driver being held liable.
Vicarious Liability and Bus Drivers
In some cases, a bus driver may not be held liable for his or her actions even in the event that those actions led to the accident. This is the case under the principle of vicarious liability. Under this principle, an employer is held liable for an employee’s actions as long as the action was conducted in the course of employment.
As such, if you or your loved one has been injured in a bus accident you may need to file your claim against the school district or bus company rather than the bus driver.
What to Do after a Pennsylvania Bus Accident
Figuring out the necessary steps to take in order to file a bus accident claim against a school district or city government can seem overwhelming, and rightly so. Things like statutes of limitation change when one pursues compensation from a government entity. Focus on your family and let Cordisco & Saile LLC handle the paperwork and investigation into liability. Contact our offices today at 215-642-2335 to set up your free case consultation