Are School Buses Really the Safest Way to Get to School?
published on July 20, 2016 by Sonia Mastros
It’s understandable that parents and school district staff would wonder about the safety of school buses. After all, school buses carry their most precious cargo. Though accidents do happen, school buses remain the safest way to transport students to and from school.
How Safe Are School Buses?
Around 25 million students around the country ride to and from school on a school bus each day. This keeps over 17 million cars off the road and out of school zones each day. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, travelling in a school bus is seven times safer than traveling in a car or truck, and around ten times safer than walking to and from school. Over 30,000 people lose their lives in car accidents each year, compared to the six who die as passengers on school buses.
School buses are designed for safety. Easy to see, with flashing lights, oversized mirrors and high seat backs, most vehicles understand why they should keep a safe distance from school buses. Large buses behave differently during when they crash than cars do, and the impact experienced by passengers is generally lessened. Of, course, any death is a tragedy, so educators should work hard to ensure student safety as well as school bus safety.
Keeping Students Safe
The National Safety Council recommends that children ride to school on a bus, rather than walk or ride with a parent or friend. Over the past few decades, there have been many safety advances on school buses. Though their effectiveness is a hot topic of debate, many districts have added seat belts to their school buses.
In addition to functional changes to school buses, many districts are now installing technological solutions that greatly improve school bus safety. For example, school bus routing software allows school districts to plan the safest routes for their students. Along with avoiding high-traffic areas, bus routing systems allow routes to be created that bypass sex offender residences and drug crime areas. School bus tracking systems allow both parents and school district staff to keep track of student whereabouts from the moment they enter the bus. Administrators can also be alerted to route deviations and unscheduled stops.
To discuss some of the other school bus safety options that may be available to your school district, contact the transportation specialists at BusBoss.
What procedures does your district utilize to ensure school bus safety? Please share your experiences with us.