7/17/2015Report Shows School Bus Accidents Are Rare
Federal report highlights the danger posed by school bus drivers.
A child is nearly four times more likely to be struck by the driver of a school bus than by another motorist, according to the latest figures released by the US Department of Transportation. Experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviewed a decade's worth of data covering 1214 fatal accidents involving school buses and presented their results in a report last month.
"From 2004 to 2013, over two-thirds of the school-age pedestrians fatally injured in crashes were struck by school buses or vehicles functioning as school buses," the report explains.
Several state legislatures have authorized the installation of cameras on school buses to automatically issue tickets to motorists who "pass" stopped school buses. Lawmakers insist the expensive citations, which can run up to $500 each, will cut down on deadly accidents involving school children. The NHTSA data reveal that it is in fact three times more likely that it is the bus driver, not the passing motorist, who endangers children.
Between 2004 and 2013, 67 children (under age 18) were struck and killed by a school bus. In addition, 123 adults were killed by school buses over the same period. Adults, in fact, proved to be at greater risk than children in collisions involving a school bus.
"There were almost three times more fatalities among occupants of other vehicles (147) than occupants of school transportation vehicles (54)," the report notes.
Motorists were responsible for 38 fatal accidents over the ten-year period, but the records show that only 6 of these ocurred while the other driver was attempting a passing maneuver, which includes driving around a bus.
Taken all together, the fatal accident rate for young school bus occupants remains low. In the last decade, there were an average of eight fatal accidents a year -- or 0.16 fatal accidents per year, per state. While 61 bus passengers died in ten years, so did 45 bus drivers.
Bus drivers struck and killed a total of 189 pedestrians of all ages compared to 49 that were struck by other automobiles near a school bus. Occupants of other vehicles experienced 955 fatalities in school bus related accidents.
A copy of the report is available in a 350k PDF file at the source link below.