School buses are one of the most popular modes of transportation for getting children to and from school. In fact, an estimated 24 million children get to school via school bus each day. Not only are school buses an efficient mode of transportation, but they are also an economical mode of transportation, keeping approximately 17.3 million cars off roads surrounding schools each morning and saving about $6 billion in fuel each year.
Nonetheless, parents often wonder: Is my child’s school bus really safe?
According to data and statistics, school buses are incredibly safe. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NTHSA), children are 50 times more likely to arrive to school safely if they ride in a school bus than if they are driven to school in a car by a parent or friend, and WebMD reports that school buses have a rate of 0.2 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, whereas the traffic fatality rate for cars are eight times higher than that.
The NHTSA reminds parents that “school buses are built with safety in mind,” and that today’s school buses are “tougher, cleaner and more diligently maintained than ever before.” Moreover, school bus drivers are required to receive special security and medical training, and undergo regular drug and alcohol testing to safely transport children to school.
Nonetheless, school bus accidents can and do happen. Moreover, many school bus accidents involve young children, between the ages of five to seven years old, who are hit in the danger zone around the bus by a passing vehicle or by the school bus itself.
To keep children safe while riding on a school bus, parents and motorists are reminded to take the following safety precautions:
- Remind children not to run into the road or the path of a bus to pick up dropped items. Instead children should let an adult know that they need help retrieving an item and the adult can get the dropped item after the path is clear.
- Supervise children as they get on and off the bus to make sure that they do not run into the path of the bus.
- Teach children to look both ways before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing.
- Check the safety record of your child’s school bus and report any questionable driving habits.
- Motorists should not pass a bus while its red lights are flashing. In fact, it is against the law to do so.
- Remind children to take their time getting on and off the bus.
- When a school bus is traveling on a two-lane roadway and is stopped to pick up or drop off students, vehicles in all lanes of traffic must stop at least 20 feet before reaching the school bus to allow students to cross the roadway safely.
- When a school bus is traveling on a four-lane roadway with at least two lanes of traffic traveling in the opposite direction, only those lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop.
Contact a Bus Accident Lawyer
The Chicago bus accident attorneys at Cogan & Power focus on representing the victims of auto accidents, bus accidents, and other public transit accidents. As a result of our vast experience and knowledge, we are able to handle the complex legal and factual issues involved with bus accident lawsuits and have obtained a number of substantial verdicts and settlements for our clients. Contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago bus accident attorneys.