School buses are the safest mode of transportation anywhere, and represent the largest mass transit system in the United States. Check out these key statistics and facts from the School Bus Information Council.
• Unequaled safety record. Fatal crashes involving occupants are rare events. Each year, some 440,000 public school buses travel more than 4.3 billion miles, transporting 24 million children to and from schools and school-related activities.
• Statistics. Last year, 45 states had not a single child killed as a school bus occupant - an incredible safety record. Between 1990 and 2000, an average of just six children each year died as school bus passengers. These tragedies typically involved unavoidable, severe circumstances.
• In contrast, the School Bus Information Council estimates that every year, more than 600 school-aged children are killed as passengers in other motor vehicles during "normal school transportation hours." Most of these deaths could be prevented if children rode in school buses. Parents need to know that allowing children to drive themselves to and from school or ride with their friends is not a safety smart decision. Even driving their own children to and from school is risky.
• Pedestrian fatalities. Over the past 10 years, an average of 29 children were killed in school bus-related pedestrian accidents - struck while getting on or off a school bus.
• School buses are the largest mass transit program in the U.S.. School buses provide approximately 10 billion student trips per year. In contrast, transit buses provide only about 5.2 billion unlinked passenger trips each year in the US (i.e. getting to a destination by using a single bus instead of multiple connections).
A recent Federal study reported that children traveling to or from school in any mode of transportation except school buses are at a greater risk of injury or death when compared to children traveling on school buses. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the study urges that a risk assessment of student travel methods be made in districts nationwide. To learn more about the report, and to read the complete findings, please visit School Transportation News.