How Safe are School Buses?

When parents send their children off to school for six or seven hours each day, they’re probably not overly concerned about safety in the classroom; after all, the most serious of injuries usually amounts to no more than a plaster cast full of classmates’ signatures. Not counting sports-related injuries, most of the things that happen to kids at school can be handled by the school nurse.

On the Road Again

The school bus, however, is a different world altogether. There are no adults to protect the children from lousy or drunk drivers, which includes even the driver of the bus. A first-aid kit isn’t going to do much goood when an unattentive driver leaves the last two rows of the bus hanging over the railroad tracks. Chalk it up to sensationalist media if you must, but when school bus accidents happen, they get noticed – especially if there are injuries or fatalities involved.

Not a Perfect World

By no means do we live in a perfect world. Bus drivers aren’t robotic devices pulled out of sci-fi films. No matter who is at fault in a collision, the injured are still going to face painful ordeals, with some being affected for the remainder of their lives. Another kind of suffering altogether awaits the families of those who are killed in bus accidents, as was a boy from Temple High School in Georgia when the bus driver lost control on a rural highway last year, causing it to overturn.

These problems are not limited to schools, with church bus accidents having taken place as well, nor to buses either (as illustrated by a recent case in Indiana in which a teacher and two students were killed while on a quick trip to pick up band equipment when their car was struck by a semi). Certainly, nobody would say that education is a bad thing – but nobody can guarantee that it is a safe thing, either. From a legal standpoint, when children are injured in school, the costs to a school district can be staggering.