School Bus Accidents

Our nation’s school bus drivers log more than 4 billion miles each year, transporting approximately 25 million students, however, the number of children killed in school bus crashes is remarkably low. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses are one of the safest ways to travel in the U.S. “School buses are approximately 7X safer than passenger cars or light trucks (NHTSA).”

But school bus accidents do occur in every state and approximately 130 people die in school-vehicle-related crashes every year. Of those, only 8% are riding in the buses, people getting hit by the bus itself account for the majority of fatalities (pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles).

While almost all states require wearing seat belts in passenger cars and light trucks, it is not the same for school buses. Because buses are heavier, crash forces are very different for those riding in a bus versus a car. School buses are designed to be safer in avoiding crashes and preventing injury. Most states do not require seat belts in buses because it is believed that buses are designed to provide protection within the compartment to keep passengers safe.

Yet, even though bus passenger fatalities are very low, its estimated that 17,000 children are hurt in school-bus related injuries each year, with less than half of those resulting from crashes. Approximately 25% of the accidents occur when children are getting on and off the buses. And, sadly roughly 20 children are killed each year when entering or exiting the bus. Most of those killed are 5 to 7 years old and they are hit by the school bus itself or by a passing vehicle.

Slips and falls, getting jostled when buses turn suddenly or children roughhousing are common ways children can get hurt while riding on a school bus. Most injuries are not life-threatening and can range from cuts and sprains to broken bones. But with the high number of children injured each year, there is a strong argument for requiring safety belts on school buses. And, last year, the federal government called on states and local school districts to make school buses even safer. The NHTSA, reversed its position and recommended that all school buses be equipped with lap and shoulder seat belts.

If you or a loved one has been in a school bus accident, Walton Law Firm can help. Our lawyers can assist you in reaching a settlement with the other party’s insurance company to settle your claim or if required, we can represent you in a lawsuit. You are entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, car damage, lost wages, pain, suffering and inconvenience.

We have successfully represented individuals and families who have been victims of all types of car accidents for more than 15 years. We would be happy to provide a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your accident. We will provide an honest appraisal of your case, and let you know if you even need a lawyer. Or, if you prefer, you can submit a confidential question online. You can reach us at (866) 607-1325 or locally in North San Diego County at (760) 571-5500.