Dangers of Back-to-School Buses

Dangers of Back-to-School Buses

Long Island and New York City students are officially in back-to-school mode. While some will walk, bike, or ride to classes in personal vehicles, millions of students will be hopping back on the big yellow school bus for their daily commute.

Sadly, school buses are not as safe as we would like for riders or other motorists and pedestrians sharing the road. School bus-related accidents take the lives of hundreds of people every year and cause serious injuries to tens of thousands of others. Therefore, it’s essential for the safety of all New Yorkers that you take precautions this school year to avoid preventable accidents.

School Bus Accident Statistics

From 2007 to 2016, the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (N.H.S.T.A.) reported  1,282 school bus-related fatalities, most of which were pedestrians on sidewalks or crossing the road.

Among these victims, 281 were school-aged children: 116 were occupants of other vehicles, 98 were pedestrians, 58 were riding the bus, 8 were cyclists, and 1 was a non-occupant. The majority of fatal school bus accident victims were individuals 19 years and older. The fatality rates across all age groups including:

– <5 with 11 deaths;

– 5-7 with 44 deaths;

– 8-13 with 57 deaths;

– 14-18 with 44 deaths; and

– 19+ with 178 deaths


An additional study conducted by the National Safety Council (N.S.C.) reported that in 2019 alone, 109 people died in school bus-related accidents. Considering that a school year is approximately 180 days, this leaves only a third of the school year where there are zero school bus-related fatalities.

Most of the fatalities reported in the N.S.C. study involved occupants of other vehicles (79), while the remainder included pedestrians (15), school bus passengers (4), school bus drivers (5), and cyclists (6). Fatal accidents were more common during the morning and afternoon drop-off times, between 6:00 am to 9:00 am and 2:00 pm to 5:00. Several accidents were also recorded from 5:00 pm to 11:59 pm, presumably when buses returned to the bus yards at the end of their shift.

School-Bus Accident Risk Factors

Now that most students are going back to in-person classes, buses will be in full swing once again. School buses tower over most pedestrian vehicles on the road, weighing in at 24,000 pounds. Buses cannot stop as quickly or maneuver as gracefully to avoid road hazards. This incapacity can lead to devastating accidents when encountering smaller vehiclespedestrians, and cyclists on the roads, especially when kids are in tow.

The most common risk factors leading to school bus-related accidents include:

Congested Roads

School buses, especially those operating on busy NYC streets, have little room to move around or switch courses quickly. Cars that do not stay alert to school buses stopping can easily rear-end these vehicles when they stop to load/unload. Similarly, bus drivers who are distracted on congested roads can rear-end passenger vehicles in stop-and-go traffic. Congested roads are also far more dangerous for students waiting at the curb or who must cross the street after they exit the bus on their way home.

Reckless Drivers

No one wants to be stuck behind a school bus when they have a place to be, but some drivers will do whatever it takes to get around them– even if it puts others in danger. Reckless drivers have been known to tailgate and weave through buses to avoid becoming stuck. Others try and illegally pass, putting school buses at risk of rollovers, sideswipes, swerving into people or permanent structures, or colliding with other oncoming vehicles.

Bus Chaos

Accidents that are caused by bus driver errors can sometimes be related to chaotic environments within the vehicle. School buses that operate without proper supervision can lead bus drivers to become distracted or overstimulated. These qualities lead drivers to miss road hazards they would generally catch, leading to increased accidents.

Schedule Adjustments

At the start of the school year, accidents often occur when motorists are unprepared for back-to-school traffic and activity. Drivers who are used to commuting every day in the summer can be caught off-guard by the influx of school busses and are not prepared for students waiting on the side of the roads. Dark morning hours can also contribute to accidents, reducing a driver’s visibility.

Lack of Seat Belts

While all school buses are required to install lap belts, not all districts require students to wear them. In the case of an accident, passengers are more likely to propel forward into seats, windows, and other hard components on a bus, leading to traumatic and sometimes fatal injuries.

How To Avoid School Bus Accidents

We send out kids to school to learn, not to become injured during transportation. Most school bus-related accidents are entirely preventable when all parties operate, ride, and share the road with care. It’s up to all of us who share the roads to look out for school buses and students this fall, following proven safety methods to keep everyone safe.

Vehicle Safety

If you are driving in the morning, look out for students crossing the road to their bus stops and busses with flashing lights to signal that a bus is loading/offloading. Give buses plenty of room to move about the road. Keep your speeds low through neighborhoods and school zones and refrain from pulling aggressive maneuvers to get around busses. If you continuously find yourself behind a stopping bus, leave a little early or try to take an alternate route to avoid being late for your commitments. Most importantly: never pass a bus with flashing lights and stop signs activated.

Pedestrians and Cyclists Safety

Pedestrians and cyclists can stay safe by remembering that school buses have a hard time seeing you in the dark or if you cross the road unexpectedly. Never assume that a bus sees you coming or that they will stop when approaching you at an intersection. Remain visible and in designated walking or cycling lanes when available to allow school buses ample room to pass. Please take notice of the bus routes in your area and avoid them whenever possible.

Parents Safety Tips

Keeping your students away from the road and ensuring safe entry/exit strategies are crucial to preventing accidents. Ensure your child is sitting or standing far off the curb to allow the bus room to pull up safely. Supervise your child getting on and off the bus to ensure they are not running across the street without looking both ways. Teach kids that cars may not always see them or stop when they cross the road.

On the bus, remind your child to use calm and quiet voices so that the drivers can concentrate on the road. Encourage them to wear a seatbelt (when available) and to remain seated throughout the ride.

New York City and Long Island Vehicle Accident Attorneys

Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving accident victims across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning defense attorneys are not afraid to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a delivery truck accident, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343, or schedule an appointment using our online form anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.

Share this post



PROMOTION PERIOD: The Siler & Ingber Mineola MegaStar Contest begins on March 20, 2023 at 12:00 am ET and
ends on May 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET.

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible, a MegaStar must be a legal U.S. resident at least 16 years of age as of date of
Nomination. A Mineola MegaStar is defined as a person who lives or works in Mineola and is admired or idealized for their courage, dedication, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. By participating, Entrants agree to be
bound by the official rules. Sponsors reserve the right to verify and determine eligibility in their sole discretion.

TO PARTICIPATE: During the Promotion Period, Siler & Ingber will accept from the members of the public (herein, the “Nominators”) nominations of Eligible Entrants (Mineola Megastars) who live or works in Mineola. Nominations may be entered by visiting www.nylawnet.com/mineolamegastar and completing the online form and essay submission or by emailing photo and essay to marketing@nylawnet.com during the Promotion Period to receive one (1) entry. Essay must not exceed 500 words. Acceptable essay formats are word documents or pdf ONLY. Nominations submitted without all required information or after the Promotion Period will be disregarded.
Online submissions must be received by May 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET to be eligible. All entries become the exclusive property of Siler & Ingber and will not be acknowledged or returned.

ESSAY: During the promotion period, an Entrant can nominate a Mineola MegaStar for the contest by submitting a
photo and essay. The essay must describe why the individual should be chosen as the award winner, including how the individual demonstrates some or all of the following qualifications:

1) an inspiring example to others by helping make Mineola a better place to live (through volunteerism, extra-curricular actives, special projects, giving back, etc.)

2) going above and beyond to aid a friend, family member, stranger or community in a time of need; and/or

3) love of profession and desire, determination and diligence to help outside of normal job responsibilities. The essay must be in English and no more than 500 words. All information provided must be truthful, accurate and complete. An Entrant cannot nominate more than one Hero.

Submitted Materials: Each essay must satisfy all the following submission requirements the Submission


· The essay must be the original creation of Entrant.

· The essay must not portray any recognizable individual without their prior consent, including consent from the

· Entrant must either own all rights to the essay or otherwise have the right to submit the essay in the contest and to provide the rights to Sage Surfaces as set forth herein.

· The essay must not infringe any third party’s intellectual property rights.

· The essay may not contain illegal, indecent, obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit content, or otherwise offensive material or inappropriate content such as aberrational behavior, graphic violence, drug abuse, or nudity.

· The essay must not promote bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.

· The essay must be non-defamatory and must not invade any third party’s right of privacy or publicity.

· The essay must otherwise be appropriate for publication or broadcast or display on a general interest website.

By submitting an essay, each Entrant represents and warrants that the essay meets all of the submission
requirements and that the distribution, reproduction, display and any other uses of any part of the essay by Siler & Ingber as permitted herein will not infringe any third-party rights. Each Entrant further agrees to indemnify and hold Siler & Ingber harmless from and against any and all claims, demands, damages, costs, liabilities and causes of action of whatsoever nature that are based upon or arise out of any breach by such Entrant of such warranties or representations made by contestant or of these official rules.

By submitting an essay, Entrant grants to Siler & Ingber a non-exclusive, perpetual, world-wide, royalty-free license (and waives all moral rights in and to the essay) to display or otherwise use the essay in connection with this promotion and as set forth herein. If Siler & Ingber determines, in its sole discretion and at any time during the promotion period, that any nomination violates the submission requirements, is otherwise unsuitable, offensive, or in poor taste, or violates these official rules, Siler & Ingber reserves the right to remove and disqualify the essay. Siler & Ingber retains sole
discretion as to whether any nomination satisfies the submission requirements and the official rules.

WINNER SELECTION: For the entry period, a panel of judges will select potential Mineola Megastar finalists based on the compelling nature of the essay based on the criteria set forth herein. Top 5 entries will be announced on May 10, 2023. We will post the top 5 on social media. Final winner announced May 15, 2023. Award Ceremony for Mineola MegaStar will take place on May 19, 2023.

WINNER NOTIFICATION AND RELEASES: We will attempt to notify potential winners via telephone and/or email. If a potential winner: (a) does not respond within 48 hours of initial notification attempt; (b) is not in compliance with these official rules, (c) does not meet the eligibility requirements, (d) declines the prize, he or she will be disqualified, and an alternate winner will be selected by applying the criteria set forth above.
PRIZES: There is 1 Mineola MegaStar. Winner will receive a $500 Cash Prize.

PUBLICITY AND MARKETING: Submission of a nomination in the contest constitutes permission to Siler & Ingber to use Entrants name, identity, title, likeness, distinctive appearance, physical likeness, image, portrait, picture, photograph (whether still or moving), screen persona, voice, vocal style, statements, gesture, mannerism, personality, performance characteristic, biographical data, signature, social media handles and identities, and any other indicia or imitation of identity or likeness for purposes of advertising and trade, in any medium, without further notice, approval, or compensation, unless prohibited by law.

PRIZE RESTRICTIONS: No transfer, assignment, sale, duplication, cash redemption or substitution of Prize (or portion of Prize) is permitted, except by Sponsors, which reserve the right to substitute a Prize (or applicable portion of Prize) with one of comparable or greater value, as determined by Sponsors. Sponsors are not responsible for and will not replace a lost or stolen Prize or any component thereof. All Prize details are at Sponsors’ sole and absolute discretion. Non-compliance with these Official Rules may result in disqualification and, at Sponsors’ sole discretion, the awarding of Prize to an alternate winner.


Do I Have A Case

    Skip to content