Many California children travel to and from school on a bus operated by their local school district. While the vast majority of these young students complete their journeys safely, accidents can and do happen. The safety of school transportation has been assessed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and its findings were published in June 2015.
The safety agency analyzed accident data compiled between 2004 and 2013, and it discovered that 327 children were killed in school transportation-related accidents during that time. These accidents involved school buses or vehicles being used as school buses. The data reveals that most of these children were either pedestrians or the occupants of vehicles involved in a collision with a school bus. The vast majority of these school bus accidents occurred during the morning or afternoon periods when children are being taken to school or returning home.
According to the NHTSA data, accidents involving school buses or vehicles being used as school buses claimed the lives of 1,344 people between 2004 and 2013. The data shows that 72 children were killed during this time after being struck by a school bus, but only three of these deaths occurred as the school bus was entering or leaving a parked position.
The school transportation accident data shows that it is often the occupants of cars, pickup trucks and SUVs that fare poorly in bus accidents. Sometimes these accidents are caused by negligent bus drivers, and sometimes they occur when impatient passenger vehicle drivers make unsafe maneuvers in order to pass slow-moving vehicles. Those injured in bus accidents may pursue civil remedies when they suffer injury, loss or damage due to the negligent actions of others, and a personal injury attorney may could file a lawsuit on their behalf against negligent bus drivers or passenger vehicle motorists.