How Common Are School Bus Accidents?

How Common Are School Bus Accidents?

School bus safety is a critical concern for parents and authorities alike. Parents entrust their children’s safety to the iconic yellow school buses that traverse California’s bustling streets. But just how secure are these rides? How common are school bus accidents in the US state?

So, in this article, we’ll delve deeper into statistics of school bus accidents in the US. Also, we’ll discover the factors contributing to these incidents, including driver negligence, vehicle maintenance, and road conditions. Also, we’ll explore the safety measures that prevent the occurrence of a school bus accident.

Types of Common School Bus Accidents

Three common types of school bus accidents increase fatalities, injuries, and property damage rates, which are as follows:

School Bus Accidents Involving Other Vehicles

In more than three-fourths of fatal school bus crashes, other vehicles are involved.

A school bus is akin to a large truck, so it’s not unexpected that these accidents often result in severe injuries.

Typically operating during busy morning and afternoon commutes, school buses face the challenge of dealing with impatient and distracted drivers. Speed zones drop significantly, buses stop frequently to pick up children, and this dynamic situation demands utmost attention and caution.

School Bus Accidents Involving Bus Passengers

Statistics suggest that approximately 17,000 injuries occur on school buses annually, catering to the transportation needs of over 23 million children across the US daily. While minor scrapes and bruises during boarding and getting off, over 42% of these injuries arise from bus accidents.

Youth aged 11 to 14 often face strains, sprains, head traumas, and abrasions, constituting more than half of all injuries. Shockingly, about 7% of these injuries culminate in the unfortunate death of a child passenger.

Pedestrian Accidents Involving School Buses

On average, a moving school bus in the US hits and fatally injures a cyclist or pedestrian every month.

Even survivors of such incidents may endure life-altering injuries like paralysis or fractured bones. Adherence to traffic laws becomes crucial, particularly during school hours.

When crossing guards halt traffic suddenly, the streets become crowded with pedestrians. Given a large bus’s limited visibility, inattentive school bus drivers or those disregarding red lights can easily collide with bicycles or pedestrians.

Other Causes of Injuries on a School Bus Accident

The leading causes of school bus fatalities are distracted driving and direct collisions with other vehicles.

Additional causes contributing to these injuries include:

  • Abrupt stops and turns on the bus
  • Slips and falls within the bus
  • Unsafe horseplay
  • School buses often don’t contain seatbelts, making them hazardous during rollover.
  • The high passenger capacity significantly raises the potential number of school bus accidents.
  • School buses might not receive the same level of maintenance as personal vehicles.

School Bus Accident Statistics Overview

1. According to School Transportation News, approximately 23.5 million children in the United States rely on school buses daily. Shockingly, Stanford Children’s Health data reveals that around 17,000 children receive emergency room treatment every year due to a school bus accident. 

2. In 2018, the National Safety Council recorded 117 fatalities resulting from school bus accidents, highlighting the startling frequency of these incidents.

3. The NHTSA documented 320,874 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes in the US between 2007 and 2016, with 1,147 involving school transportation in some capacity. While this accounts for less than 1% of all accidents, the prevalence of school bus accidents underscores the risks associated with school transportation.

4. According to NSC facts, from 2012 to 2021, approximately 70% of the deaths in school bus crashes were occupants of vehicles. While 16% were pedestrians, about 5% were school bus passengers, 5% were bus drivers, and 3% were pedal cyclists.

How to Prevent a School Bus Accident?

To prevent school bus accidents, certain measures can be implemented to ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers. Parents can also promote bus safety by educating their children about safety guidelines:

  1. Wait for the school bus in a safe place away from traffic.
  2. Always cross the road in front of the bus, maintaining a distance of at least ten feet.
  3. Board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop.
  4. Keep an orderly exit and entry to the bus.
  5. Use the handrail while getting on and off the bus.
  6. Remain seated during the bus ride and avoid distracting the driver.
  7. Keep the aisle clear of backpacks and other items during the journey.

What to Do After a School Bus Accident?

Taking several critical steps is essential if your child is involved in a school bus accident. 

  1. Ensure your child receives medical attention, even for minor injuries. This will diagnose any underlying issues that may require further treatment.
  2. Document your child’s injuries and maintain all relevant medical records. 
  3. Gather comprehensive information about the accident.
  4. Collecting photographs of the accident scene, acquiring police reports, and obtaining witness statements can significantly aid your case. 
  5. Lastly, seeking assistance from an experienced attorney specializing in bus and personal injury cases is advisable. Since municipalities and other governmental bodies operate school buses, legal proceedings can become complex.

Contact Los Angeles Lawyer Co.Today for a Free Consultation!

At Los Angeles Lawyer Co., we prioritize every client with comprehensive knowledge and utilize all available resources to protect their best interests. Our commitment to providing a free, no-obligation consultation will let you make informed decisions tailored to your needs. 

Whether you’re navigating insurance claims or legal procedures, our school bus accident lawyer helps the victims of school bus accidents. Contact Los Angeles Lawyer Co. for free consultation, and let us be your trusted legal partner for school bus accident cases.


While a school bus accident might spark concern among parents and communities, it’s crucial to understand that it worsens compared to the previous years. Therefore, ensuring the implementation of strict safety measures, including regular maintenance checks, rigorous driver training, and adherence to traffic rules, is paramount. 

Moreover, hiring a bus accident lawyer in such scenarios will be beneficial. They conduct meticulous investigations, negotiate with insurers, and provide invaluable support to victims and their families.

However, by staying informed and advocating for improved regulations, we can collectively strive to minimize the occurrence of such incidents.


After a bus accident, passengers and drivers are taken to the hospital for medical examination. Depending on their injuries’ severity, they must undergo surgeries, physical therapy, or other treatments to recover fully. Some passengers might be eligible for compensation, while the bus drivers might face termination or restrictions on their future driving capabilities. 

School bus fatalities mostly happen during the early morning hours, around 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM, and in the afternoon, between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

According to NHTSA, an average of 131 school-transportation-related fatalities occur each year.

The American Public Transportation Association reports that approximately 68,000 bus accidents occur annually in the United States.

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