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How often and why do school bus accidents occur?

On any given school day, some 500,000 school buses will take to the road to carry as many as 25 million kids either to or back from school or to other extra-curricular activities. Although they carry so many kids to and fro, you rarely hear about catastrophic school bus accidents.

One of the main reasons you don't hear about them is because, according to the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB), school buses are one of perhaps the safest vehicles that you'll find riding down the road. In fact, the NTSB contends that children are far safer riding on school buses than in any passenger car, even if it's with their own parents.

The NTSB contends that school buses are far safer than cars because they're manufactured using a technological advancement known as compartmentalization. This term is used to describe a unique system aimed at passively protecting occupants riding on buses.

When it comes to the seats school buses are equipped with, they're crafted from steel and are bolted into the bus's floor. This, along with their seat backs that both are padded and come up high, help absorb energy caused by impact. The NTSB likens this school bus seating technology to something similar to eggs being protected from cracking when placed in a carton.

In cases in which serious injuries or deaths have resulted from school bus crashes, the NTSB notes that often they were caused by a rollover crash in which the driver was operating it at a high rate of speed. In other cases, they were caused by someone or something crashing into the side of the bus. They note that compartmentalization rarely helps in either one of these situations.

NTSB researchers have also discovered that having school buses equipped with seat belts would have potentially kept injuries to a minimum as well. They note that this finding has led to many states passing legislation calling for all newly purchased school buses to be equipped with 3-point seat belts for their students to wear.

If your child has been seriously injured while being transported to school, on a field trip or to a sporting event, then a San Bernardinoattorney can advise you of your right to file an injury lawsuit in your case.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board, "NTSB school bus safety," accessed March 16, 2018

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