During the school year, many parents in Washington and other states put their children on school buses as their primary source of transportation to and from school. While this is a common and relatively safe way to get students to school and back to their home, these are also large vehicles that are prone to causing massive accidents. Because a school bus transports a large amount of passengers, it creates a high risk for numerous injuries and even deaths in the event of a school bus accident.
A school-transportation related crash is one that directly or indirectly involves a school bus that is transporting students to or from school or school-related activities. Based on current data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2003 to 2012, there were 348,253 fatal motor vehicle accidents. Of these fatal crashes, 1,222 of them involved a school bus.
During this time period, 1,353 victims were killed in these crashes. This amounts to 135 fatalities each year. Occupants of the school bus account for 8 percent, 21 percent were pedestrians or cyclist and 71 percent were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash.
According to this data, from 2003 to 2012, there were 119 fatalities among school-aged pedestrians. These victims were likely students walking to or from school at the time of the crash because most of these crashes occurred between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., as well as 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
While the number of fatalities of school bus occupants is low when compared to others involved in these crashes, this does not mean students riding the bus at the time of the crash were not injured. Thus, those harmed in a bus accident should understand their rights, as well as the surviving family members of those killed in a bus accident. A personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death claim could help with the recovery of compensation used to address medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral costs, lost wages and other related damages.
Source: NHTSA.DoT.gov, “School-Transportation-Related Crashes,” accessed on Jan. 21, 2018