Bus Accident Statistics

The US Department of Transportation defines a bus “as a motor vehicle (including school buses, intercity buses, and transit buses) designed to carry more than ten passengers, not including the driver.” These large vehicles figure prominently in crash statistics. According to the report prepared by the Department of Transportation, there were a total of 247 fatal accidents reported in 2010 and 242  fatal accidents in 2011. Bus accidents also account for 12, 000 injury cases in 2010 and nearly 13,000 the following year. Property damage was reported at 42,000 for 2010 and 43,000 buses for 2011. From 1975-2009 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had a policy of lumping fatal crash statistics for large truck and bus accidents. Over the years the report shows a decreasing trend in the number of fatalities from large vehicles. This is supported by a news article published in 2008 that stated that “a commercial bus crashes in Utah about every four days, though it rarely results in a fatality.” The report also cited  multiple statistics from FMCSA. From 2002 to 2006 there were 462 accidents in Utah involving buses. These 462 accidents divides out to an average of 92 bus accidents per year. Fourteen people were reportedly killed from nine separate bus accidents while 265 bus accidents injured 461 people. The report also stated that of the fourteen fatalities, seven of those deaths occurred in one accident on Mount Nebo in 2002.  (For more details of the FMCSA report, read it here.) School buses are also causes of concern among parents whose children use the vehicle to attend school on the daily basis. Unfortunately, this  mode of transportation is not exempt from bus accidents on the road. Recently a new report edition of Transportation-Related Crashes was released from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA) covering nine years of crashes from 2001 to 2010. NHSTA defines a school transportation-related crash as “a crash which involves, either directly or indirectly, a school bus body vehicle, or a non-school bus functioning as a school bus, transporting children to or from school or school-related activities.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that:

  • There were 1,236 fatal school transportation-related crashes from 2001 to 2010
  • During that time period, the 1,236 fatal school transportation-related crashes accounted for 0.34% of the total 363,839 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes.
  • From 2001 to 2010, 1,368 people died in school transportation-related crashes.  This is an average of 137 fatalities per year. The majority (72%) of those people were occupants of other vehicles. Occupants of school transportation vehicles accounted for 7% of the fatalities, while the remaining 21% were non-occupants — pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.
  • An average of eighteen school-age children die in school transportation-related crashes each year. On average, six of those are occupants of school transportation vehicles. The other twelve are pedestrians killed by school transportation vehicles or other vehicles involved in school bus-related crashes.
  • In 2010  there were 129 fatalities in school transportation-related crashes. Of those, sixteen (12%) were occupants of school transportation vehicles: six drivers and ten passengers.
  • Since 2001, 123 school-age pedestrians (younger than nineteen) have died in school transportation-related crashes. Over two-thirds (69%) were struck by school buses,  5 percent by vehicles functioning as school buses, and 26 percent by other vehicles involved in the crashes. There were forty-nine (40%) school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation-related crashes between the ages of five and seven.

The safety measures for school buses have been improved over time in the hope of reducing or avoiding fatal accidents. As always, it is the strict adherence to traffic rules that will make a great impact in reducing these statistics. If you are looking for ways to keep your family safe, the Christensen & Hymas website has several resources to help you get the information you need. They also offer free consultation for those who have been injured in accidents due to someone else’s negligence.  If you have been injured and would like a consultation, please call 801.506.0800.

Image “Ped-Bus Accident 2” copyright by Oran Viriyincy.

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