Blog > Accident Lawyer > How Many Fatal School Bus Accidents Are There Per Year?

How Many Fatal School Bus Accidents Are There Per Year?

Annual Fatalities in School Bus Accidents: A Statistical Overview
Fatal School Bus Accident

Every year, 121 people are killed in school bus accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As per NHTSA statistics, there were 1,207 fatalities due to school bus accidents between 2009 and 2018. Even though this number may seem to be high, it is still very low in proportion to the overall number of fatal crashes because it only accounts for 0.3 percent of all traffic deaths.

School Bus Accident Victims

Interestingly, only 9 percent of the victims of school bus fatal crashes are occupants of the school bus. Pedestrians represent 20 percent of the fatalities caused by school transportation vehicles and 70 percent of the deaths in school-transportation-related crashes are occupants of other vehicles involved. It is also worth mentioning that 55 percent of the school bus occupant deaths were school bus passengers and the remaining 45 percent were school bus drivers. Most of the pedestrians, 68 percent to be precise, that died in school bus related accidents were struck by a school bus and the other 32 percent were hit by another vehicle involved in the crash. Out of all the victims caused by school-transportation-related-crashes 20.6 percent of them were 18 years old or younger, the NHTSA defines this age as “school age”. 

What Time Do Most School Bus Accidents Happen? 

As you can imagine, unlike other types of accidents, school bus crashes do not usually happen very late at night. Actually 41 percent of all fatal school bus accidents occur between 6:00 AM and 8:59 AM and 40 percent between 2:00 PM and 4:59 PM. As you might expect, these hours have the highest amount of fatalities because that is when school buses pick up and drop off students.

What Kind of School Bus Accidents Cause More Fatalities?

The overall number of fatal school bus accidents can be divided into two categories: single-vehicle crashes and multiple-vehicle crashes. Single-vehicle crashes account for around 40% of all crashes, whereas multiple-vehicle crashes account for 60%. Nonetheless, when we look at the initial point of impact on school transportation vehicle statistics, both categories share certain characteristics. When the initial point of impact is the front of the school bus, the majority of crashes and fatalities occur. Actually, 45 percent of all fatalities happened in accidents where the front of the school vehicle was impacted. Alternatively, we can also find some differences between single and multiple vehicle crashes. When it comes to multiple-vehicle accidents, according to the NHTSA there were 10 deaths when the initial point of impact was the right side of the school bus and 19 deaths when the initial point of impact was the left side of the school transportation vehicle. Whereas, in single-vehicle accidents, there were 7 deaths when the initial point of impact was the right side of the school bus but there was not a single death in accidents when the initial point of impact was the left side of the bus. 

Additionally, if we look at the number of school-age pedestrians that died due to a school bus accident, we will realize that 62 percent of them were killed by a school bus vehicle going straight, being this the most dangerous maneuver. The second most dangerous maneuver was starting on the road; this maneuver caused about 15 percent of the school-age pedestrians fatalities. Finally, turning left was the third maneuver that caused most deaths, accounting for 8 percent of these fatalities. 

Are School Buses Safe For Our Kids?

Yes, school bus accidents are not very common, especially if we take into account that school buses carry around 25 million children to school and back to their homes every day in the United States. School buses are the safest alternative for transporting children to school because more students are hurt in vehicles and many more when they walk to school. School buses are designed to absorb impact completely differently to other vehicles such as cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. Also the compartmentalization of the seats in a school bus absorbs the impact in a way that protects children more than in any other vehicle. Seatbelts are uncommon in school buses but recently the National Safety Council has started to promote the installation and use of them to make these vehicles safer. 

Can We Prevent School Bus Accidents From Happening?

It is impossible to completely prevent school bus accidents from happening. However, it is possible to apply some of these school bus safety tips to minimize the likelihood of a school bus accident.  

  • Do not stand up while the bus is in movement: It is critical to teach kids that while the bus is moving, they must remain seated and only stand up when the bus has totally stopped.
  • Minimize play: It may be extremely difficult to prevent kids from playing on the school bus. Nonetheless, it is important to minimize play as much as possible and to prohibit any game that can compromise their safety. 
  • Approach the bus only when it has totally stopped: When the bus arrives at the bus stop, we need to teach kids that they can only approach the bus once it has come to a complete stop. 

School Bus Accident Lawyer in New York

It is true that school bus accidents do not happen very often, unfortunately when they do, it can be a very tragic experience. If you or your children have been injured due to a school bus accident and you believe you deserve compensation, do not hesitate in contacting a personal injury lawyer. At Greenberg & Stein P.C. We know how hard it is to deal with medical bills and at the same time trying to get compensation for an accident. That is why our lawyers will help in every way possible to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Our legal team has years of experience representing clients in all kinds of cases related to crashes, and we have recovered millions of dollars for them. To schedule a free case consultation with one of our attorneys, call 212-969-8784 and we will gladly assist you.