This case involves an accident allegedly caused by a bus driver’s failure to adequately ensure the safety of pedestrians and bus passengers. The bus driver had been serving the same route for over thirteen years. In recent years, he started placing headphones in his ears to block out some of the noise from the children. On the day in question, the bus driver was listening to music on a portable device, and, according to witnesses, attempted to adjust the song. While doing so, the bus driver ran over a child, causing severe damage to both of the child’s legs.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Should the bus driver had been allowed to listen to music, on headphones, while driving the school bus?
Expert Witness Response E-006659
When acting as a bus driver, the individual must exercise reasonable care because of the responsibility that the driver has to the students. There are numerous dangers that exist with a school bus, especially as students enter and exit the bus. During these periods, the driver must take notice of the surrounding environment in order to prevent children from being injured. Visual and auditory obstructions (including headphones) are definitely not acceptable, and listening devices and cell phones are also prohibited because of the distractions that may occur. Given the fact that young children may be around the bus, the driver should take added measures to ensure their safety. In this case, it appears that the bus driver was distracted, which significantly contributed to the accident. Further analysis of the training and safety measures taken by the school district (specifically as they pertain to training bus drivers) should be analyzed, and electronic distractions (portable music players and cell phones) should have been addressed.