23.5 million elementary and
secondary school children ride school buses daily throughout the
United States. 12,000 of these children are injured each year in
school bus accidents. Although the majority of the injuries are minor,
some are catastrophic and as many as 11 children a year die as a
result of school bus accidents.
Some School Bus accidents result
in serious injuries or death. Bus accidents can be caused by such
contributing factors as driver negligence (like -
poor student management skills), inadequate security,
dangerous roadways, weather conditions, defective products and
improper maintenance, among others.
A Partial List of Recent Bus Incidents
within a two week time
was foggy early Sunday
morning as the bus full of band students made their way home from a weekend
competition. The reduced visibility gave the 78-year old bus driver little
time to react to the overturned semi-tractor/trailer rig. This can only be
guessed by the lack of skid marks as the driver died on impact. The band
director, his wife and their 11-year old granddaughter also died that
morning. Another 29 were injured and some of them seriously. Fortunately, the
other three buses carrying the remainder of the band and chaperones avoided
the crash. The school and community were left in shock. This accident
occurred in Wisconsin on October 16, 2005.
In New York, just two
weeks prior a school bus flipped over on its side injuring all 42 students
and 10 faculty and volunteers. The 7th grade class was on a field
trip to attend the funeral of one of their teachers. The bus was traveling
on a highway when another vehicle attempted to merge and slammed into the
rear of the bus. Both drivers were injured but fortunately no one died.
It is also fortunate
that no students were aboard the New Jersey school bus that crashed October
14, 2005. The driver had just dropped off students at one school and was
in route to pickup more when the bus struck the side of a bridge. It then
struck a utility pole that snapped off and draped live electric wires over
the bus. The driver apparently lost conscientiousness due to a medical
condition. Traffic had to be rerouted, area residents suffered a power
outage and pupil transport was disrupted.
same day but 1000 miles to the west, 2 were hurt when a school bus
was struck broadside by a car. A Michigan school bus with 16 students on
board attempted a left turn and was struck by a Mazda traveling the opposite
direction. Indications are that the bus driver will be cited for failure to
yield. A 9-year old on the bus and the driver of the car were both injured.
October 13, 2005 there were 2 bus accidents. Both were carrying only one
student and both were caused by driver error.
In Tennessee the
driver misjudged a turn in the fog and drove off the road. The 19-year old
student being taken to Alternative School was uninjured.
In California, the bus
driver failed to stop for a line of cars waiting at a stop light and
rear-ended a Jeep. Although the lone student was not hurt, two people in the
resulting 5-car pile up reported being injured.
Other accidents included;
A California school
bus and semi-tanker truck crash that sent 4 students and the driver to the
A Tennessee school bus
went off the road and plunged down a ravine when its brakes failed; 27
students were injured with broken bones, head and internal injuries.
Two students were
injured in Wisconsin when their school bus driver suffered a seizure while
In Oregon no one was
injured when an 18-year old student collided head-on with a school bus.
Before the police arrived, the student in the car drove away.
Perhaps the most tragic bus accident was in Poland where 12 students and
adults died. A school bus carrying about 60 people on a field trip was
struck by big rig and burst into flames. Witnesses reported seeing people on
fire running from the bus. Twelve died at the scene and another 30 remain in
critical condition in hospitals.
Regardless of the causes, the tragedy of a bus accident reaches everyone in
a community. The key to most of these was the driver. The driver either was
a root cause or failed to avoid most of these. The time span makes this even
more serious. This was not a school year; it was just the first two weeks of
October 2005. Given the average 36 weeks school year, this could be a tragic
year for those who ride school buses. What has your school provided in the
Bus Driver Training? Keys can provide training for the critical gap
between technical skills and positive reaction skills for your drivers. What
about contracted services? More schools are switching to contracted drivers.
This provides a cost savings but surrenders a great deal of control. During
contract negotiations, consider making the Keys
Bus Driver Training part of the contract. For more information, contact
one of the Directors or Trainers at
Keys To Safer Schools.com today
you have any comments or questions or would like to respond, please Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.