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How common are school bus accidents?

While many Washington residents are out enjoying the long, warm summer days, others are already beginning to think about the back-to-school season. For many Washington parents, this time of year means they need to make decisions about how their children will get to school. Some will choose a school bus. Many may question -- how often do school bus accidents occur?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled data about school bus safety. According to this data -- which was collected between 2004 and 2013 -- only 0.4 percent of all traffic accidents in the United States were related to school transportation. In that 10-year period, 1,214 school-bus related traffic accidents took place.

In these accidents, 1,344 people were killed, which is an average of 134 per year. However, the NHTSA says that most of the people killed in these accidents were either occupants of vehicles other than the school bus or were pedestrians. Only eight percent of the people killed in these accidents were actually occupants of the school bus.

The NHTSA found that these accidents occurred before and after school hours. They were the result of many different types of accidents, but more than half -- 61 percent -- involved more than one vehicle.

While this data may show that school bus accidents are relatively rare, they are particularly damaging, especially for child victims. The serious injury or death of a child is something no family should have to live with. When a school bus accident occurs, a family may wish to consult with an attorney for specific legal advice on how to proceed.

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