The Relative Risks of School Travel

Each year across the United States approximately 800 school-aged children are killed in motor vehicle crashes during normal school travel hours - defined to be 6 a.m. to 8:59 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:59 p.m.

  • This figure represents about 14 percent of the 5,600 child deaths that occur annually on U.S. roadways
  • Of these 800 deaths, about 20 (or 2 percent) are school-bus related — 5 are school bus passengers on the bus and 15 are pedestrians approaching or leaving the bus
  • The other 98 percent of school-aged deaths occur in passenger vehicles or to pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists
  • At the same time, approximately 152,000 school-aged children are non-fatally injured during normal school travel hours each year
  • More than 80 percent of these nonfatal injuries occur in passenger vehicles, 4 percent are school-bus related, 11 percent occur to pedestrians and bicyclists and fewer than 1 percent are to passengers in other buses
  • More than half of both fatalities and injuries occur when a teenager is driving a passenger vehicle
  • The highest fatality rate and injury rates (taking into account the number of student trips taken) are associated with teen drivers

Source:

The Relative Risks of School Travel. Robertson, D.H. et. al. Washington, DC. Transportation Research Board, 2002