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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Criminal Defense > Collision Involving School Bus, Minor Driver Teaches Lessons in Safe Driving

Collision Involving School Bus, Minor Driver Teaches Lessons in Safe Driving

A recent Virginia bus collision that sent 28 children to the hospital is still being investigated. None of the injuries are life-threatening, but five are described as serious. The cause of the crash is unclear at the moment, but it appears that a 17-year-old driver of a van was leaving Caroline High School and pulled out onto State Route 207 without seeing the bus full of students. The bus swerved and overturned on the median dividing the east and west bound lanes. Nearly 70 people responded to the scene to give aid, including parents and teachers in addition to emergency response personnel.

Lessons in Caution

While the cause of the accident is being investigated, there are always lessons to be taken from incidents such as this. Regardless of whether the young driver is found to be at fault or criminally charged, the accident serves as a reminder that road awareness is extremely important. Failing to see an oncoming vehicle that has the right of way may be a partial defense to the most serious potential charges, but in general, the law requires drivers to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic before entering a highway. Yielding the right of way means stopping and looking for oncoming traffic, and only proceeding when it is safe. Drivers are generally responsible to everyone on the road–whether they see them or not. So it is important to always be vigilant–always look twice.

Youth and Inexperience

Young drivers often demonstrate failure to exercise caution and sound judgment. Without condemning the 17-year-old involved in this wreck prematurely, many young drivers do not paying sufficient attention, drive while distracted, or fail to take the proper time to observe traffic before making a maneuver out of impatience. Regardless of the ultimate reason for the mistake, we can only hope the young driver learns from this situation and is more cautious in the future. Unfortunately, 28 other children were injured as a result of this student’s mistake. This is likely the rationale for the state’s age limit for school bus drivers. Younger drivers are more prone to making these mistakes, and therefore the legislature has decided that when the safety of several children at once is at stake, some experience besides merely having a freshly printed driver’s license is required.

Contact a Virginia Reckless Driving Defense Attorney

If you have been in an accident—especially if someone was injured or killed—you potentially face serious criminal consequences. It is critical that you hire an attorney. Even if the accident isn’t your fault, that is no guarantee that you may not be initially blamed. In that case, you need the skill of a lawyer that knows how to prove your case. And if the accident happened to be your fault, you need the effective representation of someone who will fight to protect your rights. Call the Leesburg attorneys at Simms Showers today. We are prepared to help you immediately.

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