School Bus Accidents Claim an Average of 19 Children’s Lives Each Year

120514(2)How do your kids get to school? Do they walk, ride their bicycles, or take a scooter? Do you drive them in your personal car or in a neighborhood carpool? Or do they take a school bus or another designated school transportation vehicle? You may be surprised to realize that regardless of their personal means of transit, your children are at risk for being involved in a school bus accident – even if they never set foot on a school bus.

The kids who live in the greater Phoenix area face safety threats daily as part of their normal lives. And the fact is that a large number of school bus collisions that take place involve only one school bus and either another vehicle, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. This places anyone near a bus at risk for a crash, and as children often spend a lot of time in and around schools where buses tend to be located, they bear a greater risk than a typical adult.

In a typical year, the number of school transportation accidents, defined as those involving a school bus or another school vehicle used to transport school-aged children, make up a relatively small portion of the overall traffic crashes that happen in Phoenix and across the country, but their results are significant. These collisions place some of our most vulnerable citizens at risk and often cause damages that affect not only the children on a bus but also that children’s family members, loved ones, classmates, and entire community. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1,245 school transportation accidents between 2000 and 2009 that resulted in 1,386 fatalities. On average, 139 deaths each year are linked to school transportation incidents and of those, 19 deaths are attributed to school-aged children. Roughly 13 of the school-aged children that are killed each year are pedestrians at the time of an accident and about six are occupants in a vehicle.

Today’s parents are bombarded with safety issues surrounding their kids. At times, it seems like nothing is safe and everything is risky, but that constant presence of harm should never lull a parent into a sense of complacency. Instead, remind yourself that children continue to be accident victims every year in Arizona and the steps you take to protect or risk your child’s safety may determine how much risk they face.

If you have a school-aged child, remind your child to always watch out for school buses when walking near a school or near a bus stop. Also explain to them that it can be difficult for the driver of a school bus to see a small child since the driver tends to sit up high compared to drivers of other cars. Therefore, even young children will benefit from hearing about bus safety issues and by learning what safe practices they can take.

If your child was hurt or if you were injured in an accident with a school bus in Maricopa County, know that the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to offer you a free case consultation. There is no obligation for speaking with us and everything discussed will be kept confidential. Further, we have an attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to speak with you so please call us now toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191.

Prior Blog Entry:

Physically Disabled Adults Face Serious Traffic Risks in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 16, 2016.

Resource:

School Transportation-Related Crashes, U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, published March 2011).