Nearly 50 million students headed off to approximately 99,000 public elementary and secondary schools for the fall term according to IES National Center for Education Statistics. Though children are also transported via car, train and bike, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reports that every year, approximately 475,000 public school buses travel about 4.3 billion miles to transport 25 million children to and from school and school-related activities.
Among many adults, the perception is that children are safer traveling to and from school in the family car, primarily because they can use seat belts. But statistics disprove that theory. According to the National Safety Council, the national school bus accident rate is 0.01 per 100 million miles traveled, compared to 0.04 for trains, 0.06 for commercial aviation and 0.96 for other passenger vehicles. Therefore, the federal government considers school buses to be about nine times safer that other passenger vehicles during the normal school commute.
Among bus-related child fatalities, front-overs are the number one cause of death. Vehicle and bus safety discussions typically focus on car seats and the need for seat belts on buses. But it’s a fact that more children are being killed outside of a bus than killed inside a bus because the large danger zones around buses which make it impossible for the driver to see small children. Children mistakenly believe that if they can see the bus, the bus driver can see them. However, there is approximately a 10′ blind zone in front of school buses that most children and parents may not be aware of. And drivers don’t realize that the blind zones around their larger passenger vehicles can be as large as the danger zones associated with buses.
Bus stops, designated drop-off locations at schools, and school parking lots are the most dangerous areas where children and parents need to be extra vigilant in regards to front-overs and back-overs. Loading and unloading areas are a danger zone for children whether they are being transported by a bus, passenger vehicle, biking or even walking.
If you or someone you know has a child who has been injured due to a back-over or front-over accident you need information. Contact our Ohio child accident lawyers toll free at 800.637.8170 to order your FREE copy of The Ohio Accident Book.