In school bus crashes over the last couple of decades, fewer that
10% of school bus occupants have had any injury and 90% were not
injured at all. The occupant most frequently injured is the bus
driver since that seating position does not have the same passive
occupant protections that passenger seats have, such as flexible and
padded seat backs.
Pedestrians and occasionally a bicyclist (30%) are the next most
frequent persons injured in school bus crashes.
This includes children (usually age 5-7) struck by a bus or by
an illegally passing motor vehicle while a child is boarding or
de-boarding a bus.
These types of incidents are rare, an average of one fatality
per year in Wisconsin.
Other pedestrians can be injured or killed when they approach too
close to bus danger zones where bus drivers cannot see. Or if they
fail to move away from the bus quickly and correctly so the bus
driver can see them, and other drivers can see all the children at
one stop together.
Children should never try to pick up something dropped near
the bus. They should ask the bus driver or another adult to get
the item after notifying the driver or after waiting for the bus
to leave the area.
This type of crash is rare, but an average of one child per
year is killed this way in Wisconsin.
A third type of bus-related pedestrian injury or fatality occurs
when a child's clothing or objects they carry become entrapped in
the railing leading down the stairwell.
The type of bus railing that led to this kind of incident in
the past has been recalled and should no longer be in use on
school buses. By adjusting and checking mirrors and counting and
re-counting children bus drivers can help prevent most
pedestrian injuries and deaths.
Parents should make sure their child's clothing has no nylon
or other non breaking fabric in loose long or stretchy hangings
from coats, scarves, purses, tops, pants, book bags and
backpacks, and even loose shoe laces if they are very long.
These can get trapped in bus handles or doors.
The single biggest threat to our children as they travel to
school on the bus, on foot, or by bicycle is the way people drive
their cars, trucks and SUVs. Parents who drive their children to
school and pick them up after school are often the cause of many
children's injuries. Children can be seriously hurt inside vehicles
that crash, in even minor crashes, if they are not properly