According to the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2000 and 2009, 130 school-age pedestrians (younger than 19) died in school transportation-related crashes. Over two-thirds (67%) were struck by school buses, 6 percent by vehicles functioning as school buses, and 27 percent by other vehicles involved in the crashes. There were 56 (43%) school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation-related crashes between the ages of 5 and 7.
Although drivers of all vehicles are required to stop for a school bus when it is stopped to load or unload passengers, many people do not stop. It is reported that distracted drivers and/or inexperienced drivers simply do not realize that a bus has stopped or that its lights are illuminated. The reason the bus is not seen does not matter. Children simply cannot rely on drivers to stop for them pass safely.
Although we would expect our schools to train children safe loading and unloading procedures and schools are actually required to provide such training, many schools do not. In order to reduce risk to our children, The National Safety Council encourages parents to take it upon themselves to teach their children rules for getting on and off the school bus. (A copy of School Bus Safey Rules available for parents can be found here.
Even with teaching children about proper loading and unloading procedures, children are injured too frequently. If your child is injured loading or unloading from a school bus, contact us for a free consultation.