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How frequent are school bus accidents?

When school is in session, it happens every week - children use the bus to get to and from school. While school buses are relatively safe vehicles for young students to travel in, parents in Massachusetts are often concerned about the possibility of a school bus related crash and what could be done to increase the safety of students using this form of transportation.

How frequent are school bus accidents? According to the federal government, a school bus related crash is one that involves, either indirectly or directly, a school bus or other conveyance transporting students for school-related activities, and the U.S. Department of Transportation conducted a survey to understand the rate of these incidents.

According to this report, from 2003 to 2012 there were a total of 348,253 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and of those crashes, 1,222 were classified as school transportation-related crashes. These deaths include both student occupants of the bus and student pedestrians stuck by a bus.

The report indicates that roughly 70 percent of student-pedestrians fatally injured in a collision were struck by a bus, and approximately one-third of those struck and killed by a bus were hit by a bus that was traveling straight. This fact uncovered by the study could mean that a negligent bus driver could be the cause of a student-pedestrian accident.

Whether a student is an occupant of a bus or a pedestrian during a bus-related accident, it is important that those injured in the incident or loved ones of a student killed in the crash understand their legal rights and options. Investigation could establish cause and help determine liability. This could also help with a personal injury claim or a wrongful death suit.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "School-Transportation-Related Crashes," accessed March 23, 2015

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