More than 120 killed in school bus-related crashes every year

NHTSA: Bus crashes account for less than .5% of all crashes

BENTON COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Tuesday morning’s bus crash in Benton County, Mississippi is putting the focus back on school bus safety.

More than half of bus crashes occur in rural areas, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

But the agency says school bus crashes only account for less than one-half percent of all crashes.

They say in the last decade, more than 1,200 people have been killed in school transportation-related crashes, an average of 124 each year.

Most of them, about 70 percent, were passengers in other vehicles that collided with school buses.

Twenty percent were pedestrians and bicyclists just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Only 10 percent of people who died were on school buses. Of those, 71 were children and 55 were drivers.

Because of their precious cargo, school bus crashes get a lot of attention.

In June, a bus crash injured at least 10 students in north central Mississippi. Mississippi Highway Patrol says the bus was returning from a football camp when the driver lost control.

Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen recently introduced a bill to require seat belts on school buses. However, some federal safety experts say seat belts on buses aren’t necessary because of their high seat design, which they say protects passengers better than other vehicles.

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