Verify: Are school buses the safest way to get your children to school?

Verify: Are school buses the safest way to get your kids to school?

We brought you the story here first at WMAZ Eyewitness News about an accident involving a school bus.

When it happened on Tuesday, Bibb County Schools' Director of Transportation Anthony Jackson said this:  

"School buses are the safest way to transport students to and from school and compared to the condition of the vehicle the school buses barely scathe in comparison," said Jackson.

So we wanted to Verify -- Are school buses the safest form of transportation for your children to and from school?

In the past month, we've seen several accidents involving buses -- one in Lumberton, Texas, another in Maryland, and one here in Bibb County.

When it comes to school bus accidents, Wendy Vaughn with Jones County says, "You automatically want to know if every student on the bus is safe," said Vaughn.

Despite that, schools say buses are still the safest bet.

"The statistics show that a school bus is 70 percent safer for children to be transported in," said Vaughn.

She said not only do the bright yellow and flashing lights get drivers attention, but the strong structure keeps students safe.  

"The steel construction of the bus, the frame itself, the running boards that you see down the side, the running boards that you see down the sides of the bus, those are reinforcements," said Vaughn.

She added that the height of the bus helps.

"An impact of a car or a truck hitting a bus is going to be lower than where the student is sitting," said Vaughn.

John Strickland, Transportation Director at Dublin City Schools.

"The National Highway of Traffic Safety has put out some data that says that students are 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely on the bus than they are in a car," said Vaughn.

We checked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics for students traveling to and from school from 2005 to 2013.

We found that 57 percent of youth fatalities during school travel hours happened with teenagers behind the wheel.

23 percent happened in cars driven by adults, but kids riding on school buses accounted for less than 1 percent of fatalities.

So we verified -- It's TRUE -- buses are safer for students to travel then riding in the back seat of a car.

Sources:
Wendy VaughnThe Transportation Director with the Jones County School System.
John Strickland the Director of Transportation at Dublin City Schools
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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