A Back-to-School Look at School Bus Accidents
As the summer draws to a close, parents look forward to the first day of school with almost as much anticipation as their children. And like their children, parents experience a mixture of excitement and dread. If your children take school transportation, you might feel a good deal of apprehension as they board the bus, but statistics show school transportation to be a very safe means of travel.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 340,039 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the decade from 2004 to 2013, but only 0.4 percent were related to school transportation. That works out to an average of 134 fatalities a year, but the overwhelming majority of those deaths (71 percent) were people in other vehicles. Twenty-one percent were nonoccupants, meaning pedestrians, bicyclists, etc., and only eight percent were actually riding the school bus.
From 2004 to 2013, 54 school-age children died in school transportation accidents, while 147 died as occupants of another vehicle. This would seem to indicate that your children are safer riding in a school bus than being driven to school in a car.
However, even if your children don’t ride the bus, they may be in danger from a school bus accident. NHTSA reports that 116 school-aged pedestrians and nine school-aged bicyclists were killed in accidents with school buses and other vehicles operating as school transportation.
You can help keep your children safe by explaining the importance of safety around school vehicles. Children should know:
- The bus driver sits high above the street, so children below are virtually invisible.
- Buses don’t stop as easily as cars do.
- They should never cross the street between two stopped cars.
- They should never leave the sidewalk to chase a moving bus.
- When using an umbrella or wearing a hood, they need to take extra care to look both ways before crossing the street.
If you observe any unsafe practices involving school transportation, report them immediately to school authorities.
If you have questions about your rights after a school bus accident, reach out to a law firm with more than 200 years of combined experience. Call Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban at (888) 351-1038 or contact our personal injury lawyers online to schedule a free consultation.