School buses provide a convenient service to families, providing reliable transportation services to and from schools. Transport to and from school is thought to be one of the biggest forms of transport in the United States, as hundreds of thousands of children use school buses each day.
However, any form of mass transport has its dangers, and when school bus accidents occur the impact is often massive – children can incur fractures, head injuries, cuts and lacerations and even death.
It is thought that hundreds of children are killed each year in bus accidents, with thousands more injured. Bus accidents are a major public health concern in the United States, costing up to $20 billion a year in resources and compensation to the victims and their families, as well as significant emotional suffering. The question that needs to be asked is what measures can be taken to prevent school bus accidents from occurring in the first place?
There are a number of factors that may contribute to a school bus accident. Bad weather conditions, poor road surfaces and unexpected objects such as animals in the road may all play a role, and these factors are often not easy to control. However, factors such as poor maintenance of buses, negligent driving, overloading of buses and speeding are the most common cause of accidents, and these factors can be improved upon.
Parents, children and schools all have a role to play in helping to prevent bus accidents. First of all, children should be taught appropriate safety measures, such as looking on both sides of the road before crossing a street or getting off of a bus, and not venturing into the road when a bus is approaching.
Children should learn to never distract the bus driver while he is driving. A distracted driver is a major cause of accidents, particularly on school buses where children can become rowdy. Children should also be sure to always stay seated while on the bus, as injuries tend to be less severe in the event of an accident if the children are seated.
Unfortunately, school buses are not required by law to have seat belts installed on every seat. However, if seat belts are provided then the children should be sure to keep them fastened for the entire duration of the journey.
By following these simple instructions, children and their parents can help to improve the safety of their transport and hopefully prevent the tragedy that is a school bus accident.