School Bus Crash Statistics You Need To Know

Children getting on the school bus. | Patrick Daniel Law
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Thinking about school bus crash statistics can be frightening. We entrust the well-being of our precious children to the drivers of school buses, and we don’t want to shatter the illusion of their safety. However, we must always be vigilant regarding the welfare of the ones we love.

Luckily, school buses are some of the safest vehicles to travel in, accounting for less than 1% of traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They are designed to be highly visible, affixed with flashing lights, large mirrors, and extendable stop signs, on top of being painted a bright yellow. Further, laws require other drivers to exercise extreme caution around school buses, coming to a complete stop when children are entering or exiting.

Despite all of this, school bus accidents do happen—thousands of them a year, according to some estimates—as do serious injuries and, sometimes, the loss of lives. Taking a closer look at some school bus crash statistics and common causes of accidents can ensure we are doing everything possible to protect innocent victims. Yet, as we may never completely eliminate the dangers, we must also learn how a Houston bus accident lawyer can help accident victims pursue compensation for their damages.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a school bus accident, call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 for a FREE case evaluation. Our approach is Strategic. Meticulous. Merciless. We won’t stop until we achieve the justice you deserve.

How Many Bus Accidents Occur Each Year in the US?

According to school bus crash statistics from the NHTSA, 26,000 school bus accidents happen in the US each year. In Texas alone, there are usually over 1,000 school bus crashes per year. While we saw a slight drop to 613 school bus crashes in 2020 due to the pandemic, the numbers have since increased to 1,185 in 2021 and 1,432 in 2022.

Read More: Bus Accident Statistics

How Many People Are Killed or Injured by Buses Each Year?

According to data from the National Safety Council (NSC), there have been an average of 110 school bus accident fatalities each year from 2012 to 2021. Most of these lives lost are occupants of other vehicles on the road, followed by pedestrians.

Devastatingly, per the NHTSA, 206 school-age children died in school-transportation-related crashes from 2012 to 2021, and half the pedestrian fatalities during this period were children 5 to 10 years of age.

The NSC reports 12,850 injuries in school bus-related crashes per year, on average, over the same period. Only 3,960 (31%) of those injuries were suffered by school bus passengers.

What Is the Probability of a School Bus Crash?

While these numbers may sound high, school buses are very safe compared to other vehicles. The chance of a crash—especially a serious one—is relatively low.

According to the NHTSA, “American students are nearly eight times safer riding in a school bus than with their own parents and guardians in cars. The fatality rate for school buses is only 0.2 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) compared to 1.5 fatalities per 100 million VMT for cars.”

Much of the success of school buses is attributed to their many safety features, including lap belts and compartmentalization, which help keep children safe during a crash even if they are not wearing a seatbelt.

What Is the Most Common Cause of School Bus Accidents?

Great effort is put into making school buses as safe as possible, but that doesn’t keep people from causing accidents that result in serious injuries. Some of the most common causes include:

Driver Negligence

School bus drivers must meet certain requirements and complete training programs to drive a bus, but they still make mistakes behind the wheel. This can include distracted driving, drowsy driving, and even driving under the influence.

Inadequate Maintenance

Schools and the mechanics they entrust with their bus maintenance have a responsibility to ensure proper maintenance of school buses at all times. They could ultimately be held responsible when they fail in their duties and it leads to an accident.

Other Motorists

Despite the blinking red lights and bright yellow colors of school buses, other drivers on the road still cause accidents with them. Unfortunately, other motorists can also be responsible for pedestrian deaths around school buses because they refuse to wait for the school bus to finish picking up or dropping off a passenger.

When individuals act carelessly and cause accidents, it is important that accident victims understand their rights. In some situations, they may be able to recover compensation for their damages, which a skilled school bus accident attorney can help determine.

Read More: Who Is Liable for a Bus Accident?

Where Do Most Bus Accidents Occur?

According to school bus crash statistics from the NSC:

  • A majority (52%) of fatal school bus accidents in 2021 happened in urban areas
  • 37% happened at intersections
  • The vast majority (92%) occurred in the daytime
  • Texas accounted for 12 of the school bus fatalities in 2021, representing 11% of the total in the U.S. for the year

The NHTSA notes that “children are more at risk when approaching or leaving a school bus.” When other drivers do not respect their duty to drive slowly—or stop altogether—around school buses, the results can be devastating.

Do I Need a Houston School Bus Accident Lawyer?

If you have been injured in a school bus accident due to the fault of another party, then chances are you would benefit from working with a bus accident attorney.

A good attorney with experience in school bus accidents will be able to handle the entirety of the legal process for you, including:

  • Investigating the accident to uncover how it took place and who was responsible
  • Calculating damages to determine how much you deserve in compensation for the damages you have sustained
  • Negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you are not taken advantage of
  • Representing you in a court of law, if necessary, to fight for what you deserve if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement

Make no mistake, this is a significant amount of work. Some attorneys will gladly take a cut of a low-ball settlement offer and walk away. But a good attorney, focused on doing what’s best for you, will be with you through it all and remain committed to your best interests.

Contact Patrick Daniel Law Today

It’s no use ignoring school bus crash statistics. Accidents are going to happen, but we all share a duty to protect our children’s safety by being cautious and diligent around school buses. Others, including school bus drivers, mechanics, and schools, also have responsibilities to safeguard our children’s well-being.

When that does not happen, you should not hesitate to contact a Houston school bus lawyer to discuss your rights to pursue compensation for any damages you and your loved ones have sustained.

At Patrick Daniel Law, we provide the legal support you need to fight for your rights. Contact us today for a FREE case evaluation. Our school bus accident lawyer serves clients in Houston and throughout all of Texas.

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