Bus Accident Statistics & Safety

Posted By Duncan Law Group || 29-Aug-2013

Beginning in 1980, the Center for National Truck and Bus Statistic (CNTBS) began a national program to research and improve bus and truck safety across the United States. Since then, CNTBS has conducted five major surveys, including the Buses Involved in Fatal Accidents (BIFA) Survey. This survey was designed to provide an in-depth analysis of fatal bus accidents for CNTBS to use in safety research.

Additionally, the United States Department of Transportation has conducted extensive research regarding intercity and rural bus accidents. According to research, there were 182,100 school and employee bus transportation employees in the in 2008 and 33,100 charger bus industry employees. In the same year:

  • 307 people were killed in all bus accidents
  • 153 people died in school bus accidents (19 were bus passengers)

Since 1998, school bus accidents have caused 1,564 deaths. Every year since then, an average of 142 school transportation fatalities occurred across the nation. The vast majority of school bus accident fatalities involved occupants of other vehicles; however, 20% were pedestrians / bicyclists and 8% were school bus passengers.

In short, 19 children are killed one average in school bus accidents every year.

The American School Bus Council states that school buses are, by design, safer than typical passenger vehicles. School buses are designed to avoid collisions and, in the event of an accident, buses are built to protect vehicle occupants.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encourages school bus accident safety through:

  • Cross-view Mirrors to increase driver visibility
  • Structural safety standards, including crush standards and vehicle height
  • Stop sign arms to protect pedestrians from oncoming traffic
  • Flashing red lights to warn other vehicles of child pedestrians
  • Bright, visible paint to help other drivers identify the vehicle as a school bus
  • Qualified drivers (frequent driving record checks, adequate training, etc.)
  • Reinforced sides to protect occupants in the event of an accident

On average, one out of every five bus accident fatalities is a pedestrian. Because of this, children must learn to cross the street safely after exiting a school bus. Young children (between four and six years old) are prone to unexpected behavior and need adult supervision at all times. Parents can help their children develop safe walking habits by holding their hands, looking both ways, etc.

When a child is old enough to cross the street alone, make sure that he / she understands that roads are dangerous; especially for children.

How to teach a child to cross the road:

  1. Teach children to always look both ways before stepping into the street. This is the first rule of pedestrian safety.
  2. Children are partially responsible for their own safety. Make sure that your children understand why pedestrian safety is important.
  3. Tell your child to always make eye contact with oncoming vehicles. This ensures that the driver sees and acknowledges the child before he /she enters the crosswalk.
  4. Help your child learn traffic signs and signals. Before your child uses the crosswalk alone, make sure that he / she understands "walk," "don't walk," and other important signals.
  5. Teach children to never enter the street from between cars or an obstructed driveway. If motorists cannot see approaching pedestrians, they are more likely to cause an accident.

To learn more about bus accidents, personal injury lawsuits, and your rights as an injury victim, read our page about bus accidents in Chicago. At Duncan Law Group, the firm's legal team is dedicated to helping victims of avoidable bus accidents and their families recover the damages that they need and deserve.

Call Duncan Law Group at (312) 445-0567 or contact us online.

Our office is located at:
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Suite 2550
Chicago, IL 60601

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