WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pupil transportation officials called a study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics “a valuable contribution to the investigative literature concerning school bus-related injuries.”
The newly formed American School Bus Council (ASBC) issued a response to the report, saying that it confirmed that school buses are the safest mode of transportation on the road.
The ASBC pointed to three statistics from the study, which covered school bus-related injuries in the United States from 2001 to 2003:
Only 4 percent of all injuries to children each year in motor vehicle crashes during school travel hours are school bus related.
One-third of the school bus injuries were minor strains and sprains.
Of all children with school bus injuries, 97 percent were treated and released from the hospital immediately.
Additionally, the ASBC noted that a child in a school bus is 13 times safer than in a parent’s vehicle and 44 times safer than in a teenager’s vehicle.
The American Academy of Pediatrics study made headlines nationwide with its key finding that more than 51,000 school bus-related injuries occurred from 2001 to 2003, an average of 17,000 each year. Previous estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested that 8,500 school bus-related injuries occur each year.
Other findings of the study include:
Children 10 to 14 years old accounted for the greatest proportion of injuries (43 percent) compared with all other age groups.
Motor vehicle crashes accounted for 42.3 percent of all injuries, followed by injuries that occurred as the child was boarding, disembarking or approaching the bus (23.8 percent).
Head injuries accounted for more than half (52.1 percent) of all injuries among children under 10, while lower-extremity injuries predominated (25.5 percent) among children 10 to 19.