The school bus is the primary method of traveling to and from school for more than half of all school-aged children. In fact, the American School Bus Council states that some 26 million students travel to and from school each day on approximately 480,000 school buses. Collectively, these buses travel about 4 billion miles each year. Data for school bus accidents and deaths can differ somewhat depending on the source but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) there was a total of 118 school bus related deaths in 2009. Only three of these deaths occurred in school bus passengers, however, the majority of these deaths occurred to passengers in other vehicles. A total of 13,000 injuries were also attributed to school buses.
Although this data indicates that school bus travel has a virtually unmanaged safety record when compared to other methods of school transport, the loss of any life or injury is a tragedy that indicates there is additional room for improvement. Ultimately, preventing accidents is the responsibility of everyone on the road including students and their parents, other motorist, pedestrians, and bus drivers. Students, for instance, should be taught not to walk behind the bus or to attempt to lean under the bus to pick up something that has dropped. Parents can teach their children how to wait a safe distance from the highway at the bus stop and to look both ways before crossing the road. Motorist must also use caution when traveling in school zones and stopping when the buses flashing red lights are on. Additional school bus safety information for adults and children is discussed below.
School Bus Safety Information for Adults
School Bus Safety Information for Kids
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