While school age students in Massachusetts have been out of school for a few weeks now, they might be attending summer school. Therefore, parents still rely on a school bus to get their children to and from their home. While this is an effective mode of transportation, a school bus does present a child with various potential risks. For example, a child could get injured while getting on or off the bus. Furthermore, a school bus accident could put the passengers at risk of serious injuries. This is especially true if the bus has no seatbelts for the children.
Despite the fact that many school buses lack seatbelts, a fatal bus crash is a rare occurrence. When considering the statistics from the last decade, only a few regions in the U.S. experienced multiple fatal school bus accidents. Every year, school buses log over four billion miles on roadways across the nation. Moreover, school buses transport roughly 25 million students each year.
And while inherent risks are present each time a student rides a bus, the number of students killed in school bus accidents is relatively small. Currently, only six states have laws requiring seat belts, therefore, it comes with no surprise that of the 61 school bus passengers that were killed between 2005 and 2014, only four of them were wearing a seatbelts at the time of the crash.
And while fatal school bus accidents occur, they are a rare occurrence, happening at a rate of about five deaths per year for school-age passengers. However, it is more difficult to track injuries suffered because of a bus accident. According to one study, it is estimated that roughly 17,000 children suffer injuries each year as a result of school bus accidents.
Although reports suggest that fatal school bus accidents are rare, it is still possible for school age student to suffer injuries in a school bus accident. Therefore, it is important for an injured passenger to understand the recourses available to them. If a negligent bus driver or the negligence of another party caused the incident, it might be possible to collect compensation though a civil action.
Source: Governing.com, "Despite Lack of Seat Belts, School Bus Fatalities Are Rare," accessed June 19, 2016