Thursday, February 24, 2011

School Transportation Safety Data

The following information from the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the school transportation industry reflect and represent safety data at a glance regarding yellow school buses and school transportation programs within the United States.
• An estimated 440,000 to 480,000 yellow school buses provide transportation service daily nationwide.
• Approximately 26 million elementary and secondary school children ride school buses daily throughout the United States, twice a day.
• That's more than 55 million student trips daily -- before adding an estimated 5 million for daily extracurricular activity round trips
• This equals approximately 10 billion individual student rides, or 20 billion boardings and de-boardings, annually, when you include the national estimate for activity trips, Head Start transportation, summer school and child care transportation.
• School buses travel approximately 4.4 billion miles each school year across the United States. To put this in perspective, the U.S. Department of Transportation publishes figures that show Americans drive nearly 3 trillion miles on U.S. highways each year. The average school bus operates about 9,000 route miles each year.
• Approximately 53 percent of all K-12 students in the country ride yellow school buses.
• The average school bus transports 54 student passengers. An average of 1.5 students are transported per car if a school bus is not available. The number of cars needed to transport students currently riding on one school bus is 36. (Source: American School Bus Council.)
• According to the National Safety Council, the national school bus accident rate is 0.01 per 100 million miles traveled, compared to 0.04 for trains, 0.06 for commercial aviation and 0.96 for other passenger vehicles.
• Therefore, the federal government considers school buses to be about nine times safer that other passenger vehicles during the normal school commute.
• The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 96 percent of the estimated 8,500 to 12,000 children injured in school bus accidents annually are considered minor (scrapes, bumps, bruises, etc.).
• NHTSA calculated that 4 percent of the school bus-related injuries to children -- about 350 to 475 annually -- are serious (i.e. broken bones or worse) based on the medical community's widely accepted AIS or Abbreviated Injury Scale.
• An average of six children are fatally injured inside school buses annually.
• About 16 children are fatally injured as pedestrians in the loading & unloading zone around school buses annually. That's better than 200 percent improvement from 75 school bus fatalities in 1975; it is still not good enough.
• During the seven years between 1989 and 1996, 9,500 school-age children were killed during school hours while riding in all kinds of motor vehicles.
• The federal government considers school buses to be about nine times safer that other passenger vehicles during the normal school commute.
• According to data gathered for NHTSA's Fatal Analysis Reporting System, about 600 school age children are killed annually riding to and from school in motor vehicles other than school buses. These fatalities occur during school transport hours (7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.), on school days (Monday through Friday) only, and during the typical 180 day school year, to children riding to and from school, mostly in automobiles.

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