Parents were heartbroken by the Chattanooga, TN school bus accident in November 2016 that resulted in the deaths of six young children. When these terrible accidents occur, it makes us wonder just how common they are. Are our children safe riding on school buses? We explored the statistics to find out.

School Bus Laws

elementary school kids getting on the busDid you know there is no federal law for seat belts on school buses? Six states – New York, New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and California – have passed laws requiring seat belts on school buses, but wearing them is not always enforced. Most of the laws pertaining to school bus safety relate to other drivers! Remain stopped when the lights are flashing and the arm is out and never pass a school bus with its lights on, to name a couple.

NHTSA Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that between 2004 and 2013, less than half a percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents involved school buses. Of the approximate 106 fatalities, almost half were school bus drivers and 61 were bus passengers. Additionally, children are 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely on the bus than any other mode of transportation.

Who Is Most Likely to Be Hurt in a School Bus Accident?

The NHTSA also states that students riding the school bus are the least likely to be victims in a motor vehicle accident:

  • Passenger fatalities: 8%
  • Pedestrian/bicyclist fatalities: 21%
  • Drivers in other vehicles: 71%

When a driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident with a school bus, it is often the result of a rear-end collision with yet another driver. If the person behind you is driving distracted and doesn’t see that you’re stopped for a school bus, he may rear-end you and cause you to hit the bus.

Preventing School Bus Accidents

Drivers can help keep the occurrence of school bus accidents rare by obeying the rules of the road and keeping an extra safe following distance from school buses. It is against the law to start moving your vehicle before the flashing red lights have stopped and the arm (stop sign) is pulled in.

If you or a loved one is involved in a motor vehicle accident with a school bus or another driver, contact our experienced car accident lawyers today to pursue the compensation you deserve.