Each day Montana children take busses to their schools and to school-sponsored events. While most kids arrive safely at their destinations, the threat of auto accidents is always possible when their busses take to the roadways. The potential for injuries when high occupancy vehicles like busses encounter collisions presents serious dangers to the children involved.

A recent school bus incident demonstrates how quickly dangerous situations can develop. After waiting for all of its young passengers to disembark, a Glacier High School bus driver disengaged the brakes in order to move the vehicle to a different parking spot. When another vehicle took the new spot, the bus driver got off of the bus without reengaging the brakes. The empty school bus then rolled away with no driver at the wheel and crashed into several parked cars.

Although no one was injured, the driver’s negligence in failing to properly park the school bus could have created a catastrophic situation for the students who traveled on it to their track meet. The unoccupied bus could have taken a different trajectory and careened into the very students who had gotten off it at their destination, or individuals in or near the affected parked cars could have been hit in the bus collision.

The school bus sustained some front-end damage, and while the bus driver involved in the crash had a solid driving record, the Kalispell School District will require more training of that employee. Though fortunate that no students or pedestrians were injured, the negligence of the school bus driver reveals that auto accidents can occur even when drivers are away from their vehicles.

Source: Daily Inter Lake, “Bus involved in accident,” Hilary Matheson, April 24, 2013