More than 273,000 bus accidents a year

With professionally trained drivers, security cameras and vehicle maintenance, one may think there would not be as many bus accidents on the road. Unfortunately, they are far more common than people think.

Last year, data was gathered by The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on traffic accidents in the U.S. that involved buses and large trucks. This information shed light on the truth about bus accidents.

More than 273,000 police-reported traffic accidents involved buses or large trucks in 2011. More than one percent of those caused at least one death. Serious, nonfatal injuries happened in 22 percent of those accidents.

Of these crashes, the most worrisome for many people are school bus accidents. The leading cause of bus accidents is the driver’s neglect. Young drivers as well as drivers over the age of 55 are more likely to get into a collision according to a 2009 study. Although school bus accidents can be the scariest for some people, it is still the safest method to take children to school according The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). School buses are estimated to take 17.3 million cars off roads around schools every year.

Without the extra vehicles on the roads, the roads could be safer for children. Although safer, buses should not be exempt from safety concerns. More research is needed to find what is being done about the problems with bus safety and how to improve it. It is up to the lawmakers to make changes that will enforce bus fleet managers to implement better emergency exits, fire protection, evacuation procedures and design challenges. This is how thousands of lives could be saved.

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