From the years 2007 through 2016, there were 1,147 school-transportation-related crashes. Typically, there are approximately 114 school bus accidents in a year. In 2016, there were 119 fatalities related to school bus accidents. This number included four school bus drivers and nine school bus passengers. However, this number also included persons who were not on the school bus at all, such as 20 pedestrian fatalities and 80 fatalities of occupants of other vehicles.
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School Bus Safety
Accidents involving school buses are a rarity in the United States. With almost half a million school buses carrying 25 million children to school every day, the statistics regarding school bus accidents in a year are promising that your child will not be involved in an accident. This form of transportation is one of the safest options for transporting children.
School bus designs are specifically safer than a typical passenger vehicle. Additionally, drivers of school buses must take a special test to receive the “S” endorsement on a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to operate a school bus.
School Bus Compartmentalization
Seatbelts are an important part of safety in most vehicles. However, seatbelts are a rarity on school buses as school buses are manufactured and designed to distribute the force of a collision completely differently than other vehicles. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has determined that “compartmentalization” actually better protects children due to the padding of the energy-absorbing seats. However, very recently, the National Safety Council has decided that lap belts may provide another option for safety in school buses.
Bus Stop Safety Tips
Research data mentioned in an article on Stanford Children’s Health website states that almost one-fourth of all school bus accidents in a year occur when children are entering or exiting the school bus. Follow these safety tips to protect your child at their bus stop.
- Arrive early
- Keep your distance
- Minimize play
- Line up facing the school bus
- Never approach the school bus until it comes to a complete stop
- Use the handrails
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Safety Inside the School Bus
The specific engineering behind a school bus provides the best safety for children during their travel to school. However, children also need to behave responsibly while riding on the bus. Any distraction to the driver, such as screaming or not staying in their seat, could cause an accident. Additionally, if a child is not in their seat and an accident occurs, they have a greater chance of being injured. Along with behaving appropriately, the school should take time to educate children that ride a school bus regarding evacuation drills. While rare, these evacuation drills explain to children the locations of the emergency exits, and how to open them. The responsibility to teach children school bus etiquette and safety is the responsibility of both the parents and the school district.
Contact an Accident Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Case
If you, or your child, was involved in an accident involving a school bus, contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 to help you determine your next steps, and help you build a strong personal injury case.