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I was alarmed to read that 11 members of the King’s Fork High School field hockey team got injured when their school bus ran off the road in Isle of Wight, Virginia (VA), on Monday night.

I was shocked when I checked around and learned that the girls and appeared to be just a handful of the dozens of teens, children and adults injured in school bus crashes on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Here’s a sampling of the stories I found when I typed "school bus accident" into Google News:

  • "One Injured in Cobb School Bus Crash," The Atlanta-Journal Constitution: A middle school student went to the hospital on Monday afternoon after his bus slammed into a stand of bushes. The bus’s brakes may have failed.
  • "Two Children Injured in School Bus Crash in Hyde Park," WHDH-TV Boston: The children went to the hospital with shoulder injuries after a car hit their bus Tuesday morning.
  • "Child Hit by School Bus in Oakland Park," Sun Sentinel: In a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (FL), suburb, a bus driver drove into and seriously injured a 16-year-old girl.
  • "School Bus Carrying Heath Swim Team Plunges Into Pond," Herald Banner (Rockwall County, Texas [TX]): Five members of the team and the bus diver required treatment for injuries Monday when their bus, well, went into a pond.

I’ll stop here to note that most of the school bus accidents I turned up in my brief search did not involve serious injuries. The fatalities I saw involved the drivers of cars or SUVs that hit buses, such as an incident in Caldwell, Idaho (ID), in which 17-year-old Shawn Heckathorn died on Sept. 23 after crashing his pickup truck into a busload of elementary school students.

When students do die in bus accidents, they probably get backed over — as did a Southampton, VA, preschooler last year — more often they get fatally injured during a vehicle crash. And that is probably how most people think about school bus safety: avoid traffic when getting on and off, no horseplay or fighting onboard, maybe seatbelts. The sheer number of crashes involving buses, however, argues that thinking about bus safety more as traffic safety makes sense.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers. We also host a YouTube injury law video library with more than 50 videos covering many FAQs on personal injury subjects. Lawyers with Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton are licensed in VA, NC, SC, WV, DC and KY. They handle car, truck, railroad, medical negligence cases and more.


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