National School Bus Safety Week
Posted on October 18, 2022 in Firm News
School bus accidents are responsible for killing thousands and injuring tens of thousands more every year. Sadly, most victims of these catastrophes aren’t even riding the bus at the time of the accident. The worst of these incidents involve innocent children who are just trying to get to and from school.
National Bus Safety Week, held from October 17 to October 21 this year, aims to decrease preventable school bus accidents through public awareness and education. This safety week is an excellent opportunity for parents and caregivers to cover safe driving habits with teen drivers, bus safety with young children, and improving their driving habits to keep others safe.
School Bus Accident Statistics
From 2011 to 2020, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported 1,252 fatalities and more than 140,800 injuries resulting from school bus accidents. In 2020, there were five school bus-related traffic fatalities in New York, three of which occurred in New York City.
Over 70% of injuries and 54% of fatalities reported by the NSC did not involve school bus occupants; most victims were occupants of other vehicles who were caught in the collision. These statistics also included struck-by accidents involving children attempting to enter and exit the bus. Here’s the breakdown:
School Bus Accident Fatalities
- Occupants of other vehicles (70%)
- Pedestrians (16%)
- School bus passengers (5%)
- School bus drivers (5%)
- Cyclists (3%)
School Bus Accident Injuries
- Occupants of other vehicles (54%)
- School bus passengers (33%)
- School bus drivers (8%)
- Pedestrians, cyclists, or other (5%)
Contrary to popular belief, the NSC reports that school buses remain the safest transportation method for school-age children, especially with an uptick in post-pandemic reckless driving. With some school buses implementing new lap and shoulder seat belts, these vehicles are even safer for riders. But when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, school buses can cause some of the most severe and fatal tragedies.
Why Do School Bus Accidents Occur in NYC?
School buses are massive and awkward vehicles that are difficult to navigate, especially on congested NYC roads. Several factors elevate the risk of school bus accidents, such as:
- Poorly trained school bus operators
- Dangerous and congested roads
- Vehicle malfunctions
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
The average school bus is forty feet long and weighs 40,000 pounds, taking 300 feet to stop at 50-65 miles per hour safely. Buses cannot stop quickly like passenger vehicles or make sudden movements to avoid road hazards. When bus accidents occur, the damages are often severe, and the injuries are life-threatening to those involved.
How to Participate in National School Bus Safety Week
Help protect your community this National Bus Safety Week by reviewing a few basics with your family and loved ones. It doesn’t take much to prevent bus accidents in your community. Sometimes, just reminding someone to stay alert can significantly improve road safety.
- Encourage school-age children to sit, buckle, and create minimal distractions for the driver when riding.
- Wait for the bus far from the curb.
- NEVER allow children to run after or in front of a school bus.
- Follow all pedestrian walking laws to allow buses room to stop and transport.
- Share the road and keep your speeds low to allow buses time to avoid hazards safely.
- Never try to pass a school bus while it’s stopped.
- Always stop and give buses adequate room to load and unload students.
- Keep your speeds low, especially in school zones and residential areas.
- If possible, avoid riding through busy school zones.
- Stay in marked bike lanes.
- Never try to pass a stopped bus.
Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein NYC Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
At the law firm of Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein, we have been fighting for the safety of New York City motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists for over 60 years. If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury at the hands of a negligent driver, our experienced trial attorneys are here to help.