Every day twenty-three million students nationwide,
approximately 54% of all Kindergarten through 12th
grade students in the United States, ride school
buses to and/or from school.
The yellow school bus is considered to be 172 times
safer than transportation in a passenger vehicle,
8 times safer than railroad passenger trains or scheduled
airlines, and 4 times safer than transit or intercity
The school bus transportation infrastructure is
the largest system of ground transportation in the
United States, with over 400,000 yellow school buses
on the streets every school day.
School-age children transported in school buses
are safer than children transported in motor vehicles
of any other type. Large school buses provide protection
because of their size and weight. Further, they must
meet minimum Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
(FMVSS) mandating compartmentalized seating, improved
emergency exits, stronger roof structures and fuel
system integrity, and bus body joint strength.
Almost 40% of all the fatalities in and around
the loading and unloading of school buses are directly
related to other drivers' ignorance or disobedience
of school bus laws (National Safety Council).
The greatest risk is not riding the bus, but approaching
or leaving the bus. Before children go back to school
or start school for the first time, it is essential
that adults and children know and understand school
bus safety rules.
Every school bus manufactured after April 1, 1977,
is equipped with a metal cage designed to protect
the fuel tank in a direct 30-mph collision by a two-ton
vehicle (US Department of Transportation).
Student transportation cost amounts to approximately
4% of the total annual cost of educating a child.
There are more than 100 federal, state, provincial,
and local government agencies and industry associations
involved with school transportation in the United
States and Canada, making it one of the most regulated,
safest forms of ground transportation.