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  • Writer's pictureJordan Stern

School Bus Accidents in New York: A Safety Concern for Families

Millions of children rely on school buses to get to and from school safely, and while this is generally one of the safest forms of transportation for children, accidents can and still do happen.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a school bus-related crash as any crash in which a vehicle, regardless of body design, used as a school bus is directly or indirectly involved. This includes incidents involving school children getting in or out of a vehicle.

According to the NHTSA, from 2013 to 2022, only 5% of the deaths in school bus-related crashes were school bus passengers and 4% were school bus drivers, the rest were other drivers or pedestrians.


Of the people injured in school bus-related crashes from 2013 to 2022, about 36% were school bus passengers, 9% were school bus drivers, and 51% were occupants of other vehicles.

Causes of School Bus Accidents

School bus accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Driver error: This is one of the most common causes of school bus accidents. Things like speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, and failing to follow traffic laws.

Mechanical issues: If a school bus is not properly maintained, mechanical issues can lead to accidents. This can include things like faulty brakes or bald tires.

Weather conditions: Inclement weather like rain, snow, or fog can make the roads hazardous and increase the risk of accidents.

Passenger misbehavior: If students are not behaving properly while the bus is in motion, it can distract the driver and increase the risk of an accident.

What to Do If Your Child Is Involved in a School Bus Accident

If your child is involved in a school bus accident, there are several things you should do immediately:

Call the police: It is imperative that you get a police report to document the accident.  There are multiple parties involved and all information needs to be collected.

Seek medical attention: Even if your child doesn't think they're seriously injured, they should still get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries may not present themselves right away.

Gather information: Get the contact information of any witnesses and the name and contact information of the bus driver.

Report the accident: Notify the school and the school bus company about the accident.

Consult with an attorney: A personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and potentially pursue compensation for your child's injuries.

Preventing School Bus Accidents

While accidents can never be entirely prevented, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of school bus accidents:

Proper maintenance: School buses must be properly maintained and in good working order.

Screening and training of drivers: School bus drivers should be thoroughly screened before being hired and provided with ongoing training to ensure they're driving safely.

Enforcing safety regulations: Strict safety regulations should be in place and enforced to prevent accidents.

Promoting good behavior by passengers: Schools and parents should encourage students to behave properly while riding the bus, including staying seated and not distracting the driver.

While school buses are a convenient and relatively safe mode of transportation for children, accidents can and do still happen. It's important for school districts, bus companies, drivers, and parents to all do their part in preventing accidents.

If you, or someone you know, is involved in any type of accident – call us. Our consultations are free, and we do not get paid unless you receive a recovery.

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