Advocate Law Firm Professional Law Corporation - Personal Injury

How safe is that bus your child rides to school?

Every day, the bus picks your son or daughter up for school. It was a big event the first time, but now you just take it in stride. You assume he or she will arrive safely at school.

But just how safe is that bus? Should you be worried?

There are some pros and cons. For instance, most school buses across the United States do not use seat belts. In California, though, new school buses are required to have belts, just like passenger cars.

On the negative side, half a dozen children die in school bus accidents, on average, every year. Again, that is just the average; a school bus driver in Tennessee was convicted earlier this year after getting in an accident that took six lives all at once.

On the plus side, even that many deaths shows that buses tend to be safer than cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims they're seven times as safe. They point out that around 30,000 people die in normal traffic accidents annually.

Another for the con column is the way that school bus accidents occur. While most people imagine head-on accidents, research says that 70 percent of accidents are side and rear impacts. This can lead to rollover accident with buses, which tend to sit very high and are more top-heavy than passenger cars. These accidents can be very dangerous to children, who are more exposed than they would be in a head-on accident.

Was your child hurt in a bus accident? If so, make sure you know all of the legal options you have.

Source: School of Thought, "How safe are school buses?," Carl Azuz, accessed May 07, 2018

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