The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that between the years 2006-2015, 102 school-age pedestrians died in school transportation-related accidents. Although the majority of those killed were struck by a school bus or a vehicle functioning as a school bus, 36% of those killed were struck by other vehicles.
In a one-day survey conducted in multiple states in 2015, nearly 80,000 vehicles illegally passed a school bus. Alarmingly, 41% of those who illegally passed a school bus passed from the rear, and nearly 1,500 of those passed on the right side of the bus where students would load and unload.
In all 50 states, it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. All states require that the traffic in both directions on an undivided highway stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading children. State laws vary on what is required on a divided highway; therefore, drivers should familiarize themselves with the laws in the states where they are traveling.
The American School Bus Council estimates that 25 million children are carried by 480,000 school buses each day during the school season. Add these additional school buses to the roadway, along with parents transporting children back and forth to school, and teenage student drivers in their own vehicles, and it is obvious that traffic will become more congested in certain areas during the school season.
The routes that a professional truck driver may have been using previously to make on-time deliveries may now take longer, so drivers should plan appropriately. Secondary roads typically see the greatest increase, so drivers should use interstates and freeways whenever possible to avoid delays and congestion.
Always remember… safety first!