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How Safe Are School Buses?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Across the nation, students are returning to school, with many of them transported to and from school via school buses. While school buses are nearly 8 times safer than passenger vehicles, an average of 27 school-age passengers are killed in school bus crashes each year and 19 children are killed getting on and off the bus. Most school bus fatalities are children between the ages of five to seven years old, who are hit the danger zone around the bus by a passing vehicle or by the school bus itself.

Parents and motorists are reminded to take the following safety precautions with respect to school buses:

  • Remind children not to run into the path of a bus to pick up dropped items.
  • Supervise children as they get on and off the bus.
  • Teach children to look before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing on the side of the road.
  • Check the safety record of your child’s school bus by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s A&I Online Safety Measurement System “Carrier Search” tool at
  • Motorists may not pass a bus while its red lights are flashing. Remind children to take their time getting on and off the bus.
  • When a school bus is traveling on a two-lane roadway and is stopped to pick up or drop off students, vehicles in all lanes of traffic must stop at least 20 feet before reaching the school bus to allow students to cross the roadway safely.
  • When a school bus is traveling on a four-lane roadway with at least two lanes of traffic traveling in the opposite direction, only those lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop.

Even though school buses are relatively safe, bus accidents can happen and children can get injured or killed, whether due to a negligent motorist, a negligent bus driver, or an improperly maintained school bus. The Chicago bus accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are dedicated to helping the families of children injured or killed in a school bus accident obtain financial recovery for their losses. We are committed to promoting child safety on school buses and holding negligent parties responsible for any injuries or deaths caused in school bus accidents.

Contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Chicago bus accident lawyers to learn more about school bus safety.