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What's Up With Buses!!??

Let's Stop the violence! 

See how KEYS can help!!

Learn more... Bus Driver Training

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 frame


It 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.

Michigan school bus broadsided by a car.That 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.

On 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 hospital.

  • 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 driving.

  • 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.

Poland School Bus Accident kills 13Perhaps 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.

Bus AccidentsRegardless 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 way of 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 today

Submitted By:
Frank G. Green, LPC

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