Most people underestimate just how large the school bus system is: It carries so many kids that it is the largest public transport system in the U.S. That intense amount of usage means that the school bus system also sees a correspondingly large number of injuries and accidents.
School bus injuries
The design of school buses means that, in general, they are very safe. Children are most at risk when they are getting on and off the bus. Other vehicles may hit the bus or strike a child near a bus if the driver of that vehicle is not paying attention. Children who are in the immediate area of the bus are not as safe as those who are on the bus because they are not protected from potential impact. Younger children below 7 are at the most risk because they are short and harder for drivers to see. The driver of the bus itself may also strike children if they are not visible.
Risks in an accident
In a motor vehicle accident, buses are so large and heavy that it is easy for them to absorb the mass of the impact without hurting their passengers compared to other vehicles. The padded seats and compartment design mean that seat belts are less necessary. However, there is still danger from the passengers being tossed to the side out of their seats or into the wall.
School buses are designed with safety first, but that does not mean they are immune to accidents in the interior and surrounding area. The buses carry so many children that there is a risk no matter how safe the buses are designed. For this reason, all drivers on the road need to be careful when driving behind or around a school bus.