A new national study reports that 17,000 children visit emergency rooms annually due to school bus-related accidents. Most frequently the children suffered cuts and broken bones, but thankfully, most injuries were not life-threatening.
The research was based on data from the years 2001-2003 from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). About 51,100 children under the age of 19 were injured for a total of 17,000 accidents annually. Crashes accounted for 42 percent of the injuries, and one-fourth of the accidents happened as children entered and exited the buses. Slips and falls, sudden stops and sharp turns, and horseplay were also causes of the bus injuries.
Researchers believe this evidence strengthens the debate to require safety belts on school buses. However, many still maintain that they are unnecessary and too expensive for school districts to afford.