Every day, thousands of students ride school buses in Georgia. At the same time, thousands of adults are using buses to get to work and other daily destinations. Although bus accidents happen less frequently than car or truck accidents, they still occur—and the consequences can be painful for those involved.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps track of bus accident statistics and facts from recent years. This article will overview the most important details to know about bus accidents. Most facts are related to accidents involving school transportation vehicles, as data on other types of bus accidents is limited.
Georgia Bus Accident Statistics: School-Related Transportation
Thankfully, bus accidents in Georgia and the rest of the United States are pretty rare. In fact, students are around 70 times more likely to arrive safely at school on a school bus compared to riding in a car.
Statistics for school bus accidents in Georgia specifically are difficult to complete, as state officials have trouble getting regular numbers from local districts. However, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, there were more than 700 accidents involving metro Atlanta school buses from July to December 2016. That’s an average of around 117 school bus accidents per month.
According to the NHTSA’s 2019 fact sheet using data from 2008 to 2017, there were almost 318,000 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States during that nine-year time period. And around 1,000 of those accidents involved a school transportation vehicle. That’s around 0.4% of all traffic crashes.
(A school transportation vehicle refers to a school bus or a vehicle that functions as a school bus, transporting students to and from any school-related activities.)
School Transportation-Related Accident Deaths Overview
Although the percentages for school bus accidents are small, it does mean fatalities still happen during school bus-related accidents. Here are the facts on fatalities:
- From 2008 to 2017, the U.S. saw 1,241 people killed (at an average of 124 deaths each year) from school transportation-related accidents.
- Seventy percent of those who died were in other vehicles (besides the buses) involved in the accident.
- Twenty percent of fatalities were not occupants in any vehicle (meaning they were bicyclists, pedestrians, or others).
- Ten percent of fatalities were occupants of the school transportation vehicles.
More than half (52%) of fatal crashes with school transportation vehicle crashes happened in rural areas (places with low population density).
Individual Fatalities in School Bus Accidents
Between 2008 and 2017, there were 207 pedestrians who died in bus-related accidents. Of those, 150 were hit by school vehicles and 57 were hit by other types of vehicles.
Occupants killed in school transportation-related accidents totaled 126, with 55 of them as drivers and 71 as passengers.
There were three drivers and four passengers killed in school bus-like vehicles that were being used for reasons other than school activities.
School Bus Fatalities by Age Group
There were 264 school-age (18 years old and younger) killed in school bus-related accidents. Of those, 100 were inside other vehicles, 61 were occupants of a school bus, 97 were pedestrians, five were bicyclists, and one school-age child was not an occupant in any vehicle.
Of the 97 school-age pedestrians killed in crashes involving school transportation vehicles, 55% resulted from being hit by a school bus, 44% from being struck by other vehicles, and one percent from non-school buses functioning like school buses. Twenty-five percent of all school-age pedestrians killed in these types of accidents were 14-18 years old and 49% were 5-10 years old.
Bus Accident Fatalities by Time of Day
Most school-age fatalities in crashes involving school transportation vehicles happened in the windows of 7:00 a.m. to 7:59 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 3:59 p.m. This makes sense, as these are the most common times for school buses to transport students from home to school and from school to home.
Fatal Crashes Involving Large Trucks or Buses
Although most statistics we have involve school buses, we do know that of the about 34,000 fatal traffic accidents in 2016, 11.8% of those (a total of about 4,000) involved at least one bus or large truck.
Talk to a Georgia Bus Accident Lawyer for Free
Although bus accidents are rarer than other types of accidents, they still happen in Georgia and throughout the country. Those affected by the accident still suffer and are still entitled to financial compensation for their damages. At John Foy & Associates, we can help if you or your family has been affected by a Georgia bus accident. For a FREE consultation to go over the details, call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form on this page.