School Bus Safety in California

School Bus Accident in Anaheim Hills Increases Safety Concerns

School Bus

Are children safe when they board a school bus headed toward home after a long day in the classroom?  With news of the deadly school bus crash involving a FedEx truck, it’s not surprising that parents would be more concerned about school bus safety.  But a recent bus accident in the Anaheim Hills isn’t doing much to allay concerns.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the bus accident in the Anaheim Hills left six people injured.  The school bus had been carrying a total of 12 people, including the driver and 11 middle-school students, from an after-school activity at El Rancho Charter School.  Residents of the Anaheim Hills could hear students screaming for help just moments after the accident, and according to the news story, many “Good Samaritans rushed to free them from the wrecked vehicle.”

One witness, who had been driving in the opposite direction of the school bus, saw it “drive up and fly up and crash” as students inside screamed, “help me!”  Of the injured students, two suffered critical injuries, although officials indicated that none of the injuries looked to be life-threatening.  The driver also sustained critical injuries.  The California Highway Patrol indicated that three other students suffered minor injuries.  A report from ABC News indicated that “part of a tree went into the bus and cut a girl’s leg,” and witnesses observed “gas pouring out the back.”

The California Highway Patrol is looking into the cause of the crash.  According to ABC News, investigators have interviewed the driver but “still don’t know what caused the bus to veer out of its lane, over a curb and into trees and a lamp post.”  Authorities haven’t determined how many of the students had been wearing seat belts.

School Bus Safety Statistics

A recent article in WebMD emphasized that, despite the intense news coverage of school bus accidents, “taking a bus to school is the safest way to go.”  According to Eric Bolton, a spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school transportation has some of the best statistics in terms of the total number of injuries and number of passengers.  Specifically, school buses carry about 24 million students each year and travel “more than 4 billion miles,” and these vehicles only have a death rate of .2 per 100 million miles traveled.

However, the article in WebMD emphasized that statistics aren’t always so comforting.  When we think about the likelihood of an accident on a school bus compared to other modes of transportation, the numbers might look good.  However, there’s another way to think about school bus accidents: “over a span of 11 years, from 1994-2004, a total of 71 passengers on school buses died in crashes.”  And nearly all of these deaths were preventable.

Has your child been injured or killed in a serious bus crash?  In many school bus accident cases, it may be possible to file a claim for financial compensation.  When bus drivers or school districts behave negligently, children can suffer severe and sometimes fatal injuries.  At the Walton Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping California residents who have been injured in school bus crashes.  Contact one of our experienced San Diego bus accident attorneys to discuss your case.

See Related Blog Posts:

School Bus Accident Cases

California Bus Crash Report

Photo Credit: drp via Compfight cc

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