School Bus Safety, Should Your Child Ride?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injuries. (American School Bus Council) The NHTSA says that today's school buses are built with safety in mind, and that they are cleaner, tougher and better maintained than ever before. Not only that, but school bus drivers are required to receive special security and medical training, and to undergo regular drug and alcohol testing in order to provide a safe ride for your child.

School bus traffic laws are strictly enforced, and school bus drivers are subjected to frequent driving record checks and student behavior management. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, when it comes to safety, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school, just take a look at these statistics:

Source: (NHTSA FARS 2001-2008 (FINAL), 2009 (ARF)

  • The annual average fatalities for students travelling by a teen driver is 58%;
  • The annual average fatalities for students travelling by an adult driver is 23%;
  • The annual average fatalities for students travelling by school bus is just 1%; and
  • Students are around 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive by bus than if they drive by themselves or ride with friends.

According to the American School Bus Council, school buses keep an annual estimated 17.3 million cars off the roads surrounding schools every morning. When you consider how many American parents don't have to drive their kids to school each morning, that's a significant reduction in the risk of pedestrian, bicycle and auto accidents near schools. Every school bus equals 36 cars, and on an annual basis, school buses save 2.3 billion gallons of fuel, $6 billion dollars, and 44.6 billion pounds of CO₂.

Next time you're worried about your child riding the bus and whether or not it's safer than you driving them to school, imagine how buses actually create a world with less traffic, cleaner air, and more affordable transportation. These are just a few of the benefits that riding a school bus provides. While many parents struggle with whether or not they should use school buses to take their kids to school, remember that they are the safest way for children to travel and they are a growing choice among parents for their children's school commute.

Recent Bus Accident

In Covington, Georgia, a driver recently died in a head-on collision with a school bus in Newton County. According to authorities, the 21-year-old driver died after making a left turn in the path of the oncoming bus on a Friday afternoon in Covington, about 35 miles east of Atlanta. According to Sherri Davis-Viniard, the Newton County schools spokeswoman, the bus had been carrying students from Indian Creek Middle School. According to Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright, out of the 16 students aboard at the time of the crash, only one complained of an injury. Had this accident involved a small passenger-sized vehicle carrying children in the side-impact crash, it can be safely assumed that the injuries for the children seated in the rear of the vehicle certainly could have been more severe, if not life-threatening. This bus accident illustrates the fact that when drivers fail to yield the right of way, children are far safer in a large school bus than if they were seated in a small, passenger sized car or truck.

If you or someone you love has been injured in any type of an auto accident such as a car accident or a truck or motorcycle accident, or a drunk driving accident, you are urged to contact a Marietta personal injury attorney from Jones & Swanson. Auto accidents can cause serious and catastrophic injuries, and in worst cases they can lead to the wrongful death of the accident victim. Most people have no idea what their rights to compensation are, nor do they know how much their claim is truly worth.

By contacting our firm, we can explain your rights to compensation and we can be your greatest advocate against the insurance company and during the claims process. Our founding attorney, Andrew W. Jones is AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell®; he is included in Georgia's selection of Super Lawyers®; he was selected to Georgia Trend's 2012 Legal Elite; and he received a 10.0 "Superb" rating by Avvo.com, a legal rating website. For caring, compassionate, yet aggressive legal representation from one of Georgia's leading trial lawyers, contact our firm today!