How safe are your kids on Pennsylvania school buses?

October 23rd, 2015
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How safe are your kids on Pennsylvania school buses?

October 23, 2015

This is "School Bus Safety Week" in Pennsylvania, and state police are clamping down on drivers who illegally pass school buses, especially when they are picking up or dropping off students.  Safety is a big challenge because thousands of school buses carry millions of children millions of miles. How often do they have accidents? How many people get hurt?

Let's take a look at some numbers.

Across Pennsylvania, there are 31,300 registered school buses, according to PennDOT, and they carry more than 1.5 million children nearly 394 million miles a year. They are driven by more than 45,000 licensed school bus drivers.

Over the past five years, there were 1,902 accidents involving school buses in Pennsylvania, resulting in 18 deaths and 2,253 injuries.

None of those who died were school bus passengers, and only one was a school-age pedestrian. Eleven were drivers or passengers of other vehicles that collided with school buses, five were other pedestrians and one was a school bus driver.

Of the 2,253 injuries over the past five years, 1,185 — or a little over half — were to school bus passengers. Another 792 injuries, or a little over a third of the total, were to drivers or passengers of other vehicles. The rest were to school bus drivers (187), school-age pedestrians (26), other pedestrians (32) or people who do not fit into any of the other categories (30).]

But PennDOT notes that many people involved in school bus accidents receive no injuries at all. In 2014, a total of 3,935 people were involved in school bus crashes, and 88 percent of them were unhurt.

By Tim Buckwalter, Data Journalist,