Recent national data, shows that school bus accidents cause more injuries than had been believed. The data establishes that 17,000 children each year are sent to emergency rooms due to school bus related accidents.
While the number of children who are injured may seem small compared to the number of children who travel on school buses each year-some 23.5 million-the number causes concern and raises the issue as to how school buses can be made safer. Only five states-California, Louisiana, Florida, New Jersey and New York, require safety belts on their buses, raising the suggestion that if more states mandated safety belts, less injuries would occur. The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates that all new school buses be equipped with lap-shoulder safety belts.