Are School Buses Safe?
The school bus is the safest way to travel to and from school. Buses travel billions of miles annually and transport millions of students every day. They accomplish this with the highest safety record and lowest fatality rate of mass transit. Statistics support that school bus transportation is the safest way to go to school.
- Youth fatalities during school hour travel are 57% for youth drivers, 23% for adult drivers, 19% for other travel, and <1% for the school bus.
- Students are about 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely in a school bus instead of a car.
- With 24 million students transported over 4 billion miles each year, school buses have only 0.2 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. The rate of deaths in automobiles is eight times higher (WebMD).
- 480,000 school buses provide daily transportation for 55% of the nation's school children, and each school bus keeps 36 private cars off the road.
Most large school buses do not have seat belts for students. Each seating area acts as a protective bubble for students. The seats use thick padding with high seat backs and fronts. The seat frames use construction to absorb the energy of impact and are securely fastened to the floor. Accident studies have shown that compartmentalization works well when children stay within the seat compartment.
School Bus Inspections
Our school buses are inspected by the Washington State Patrol twice a year. Summer inspections cover 100% of the fleet, and winter inspections look at 20% of the fleet. Our mechanics have received outstanding school bus inspection certificates for many years.
School Bus Driver Credentials
All school bus drivers are required to submit fingerprints for a FBI background check. A five-year driving abstract is also requested for review. Cleared candidates then begin a training course that includes classroom lessons as well as time behind the wheel. Drivers train on defensive driving, rules of the road, and all regulations. After passing all written and driving tests, drivers obtain a CDL through the Department of Licensing and a School Bus Authorization through the state. Drivers are required to maintain compliance by keeping a clear driving record, participating in a random drug testing pool, and attending annual training as determined by the state. School bus drivers are highly-trained professionals that assume the responsibility to safely transport our students.