This coming Monday kicks off National School Bus Safety Week (SBSW), an annual campaign dedicated to protecting students who ride the bus by preventing school bus accidents.
Operating under the theme Be Smart – Be Seen, I wait in a safe place!, this year’s SBSW is looking to involve “parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators and other interested parties – to join forces and address the importance of school bus safety,” as the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) explains.
Underscoring the importance of this safety campaign, the followign statistics reveal just how often school bus accidents injure American children.
Why SBSW Is So Important: School Bus Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as research out of the Columbus Children’s Hospital Center for Injury Research & Policy:
- Each year, about 17,000 children in the U.S. are rushed to emergency rooms following school bus accidents.
- Collisions (i.e., buses hitting another vehicle or crashing) comprise about 42 percent – or roughly 7,140 – of these injuries.
- Accidents that occur when children are boarding or getting off of the bus comprise about 25 percent – or 4,250 – of these injuries.
- Annually, about 9 children are killed in school bus accidents.
While these statistics may make you think twice about sending your children to school on the bus, school buses are still the safest way for children to get to school, researchers and transportation safety officials say. That’s because:
- Children have far greater chances of getting hurt in a passenger vehicle/traffic accident than in a school bus accident.
- The 17,000 injuries and 9 fatalities only represent a small fraction – less than one percent, in fact – of the total number of children who are safely transported to schools on buses each year in the U.S. (about 23.5 million, says the NHTSA).
Preventing School Bus Accidents: Safety Tips for Students
- Get to the bus stop at least 5 minutes early.
- Wait between 6 and 10 giant steps back from where the bus will stop.
- Don’t approach the bus until it has come to a full stop, the door is open and the driver indicates it is OK to get onboard.
- If you need to cross the street to get on the bus (or after getting off of the bus), make sure the bus is fully stopped, the driver sees you and that you look both ways (left, right & left again) before crossing. Never cross if there are other oncoming vehicles, the bus is moving or you don’t have the right-of-way.
- Never walk behind the bus or try to pick things up from alongside or beneath the bus.
- Avoid distractions when it’s time to board or get off of the bus, and pay attention to your surroundings.
Share this blog with other parents, educators and drivers – and share your thoughts about school bus accidents & SBSW with us on Facebook & Google+.
Columbia SC Personal Injury Attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact a Columbia SC personal injury attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for effective legal advocacy and help with your financial recovery.
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