We Discuss: My children ride the bus – am I putting them at risk?
WAXAHACHIE, Texas – Officials say 12 elementary students were hurt last Tuesday after their school bus overturned on a North Texas highway just south of Dallas. The driver got distracted and lost control of the bus.
The school bus, belonging to Waxahachie Independent School District, ended up on its side.
Trooper James Colunga reported that 19 children were on board during the wreck, 12 of whom were transported to nearby hospitals. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
My children ride the bus – am I putting them at risk?
This September marks the 25th anniversary of the Alton incident – the worst bus accident in Texas history – where a school bus collided with a truck and plunged into a nearby pit. Nineteen students were killed in the accident and 64 were seriously injured. It’s tragedies like these that leave us wondering, are school busses truly safe? Can bus drivers be trusted? Should we take our children’s safety back into our own hands?
If you ask the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), their answer is clear: school busses are the safest way to get kids to and from school. In fact, the NHTSA asserts that “students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive if they take the bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends, [and] your child is much safer riding the bus than being driven by you.”
School busses are specifically designed to avoid crashes and prevent injury. This is explained in part by a concept called compartmentalization, meaning that school bus seats are high, padded, packed tightly together and far from the ground. Statistically, these components keep students better protected than they would be if riding in a passenger vehicle.