How Does Student Behavior on the School Bus Contribute to Accidents?

While there are many things that contribute to school bus accidents occurring, distractions are one of the top reasons why these crashes transpire. In a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012 alone 3,328 people were killed and approximately 421,000 were injured in crashes caused by distractions [Source: United Educators].  More recent studies revealed that approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes each day in the U.S. that involve a distracted driver [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].

While there are many types of distractions that deter a driver’s attention away from the roadway, the one we are focusing on today has to deal with the students who travel on the bus. “With bus drivers routinely carrying between 30 and 100 young passengers, it’s easy to understand the great potential for distractions.” The behavior students display while traveling on the bus can greatly impact how well the driver can concentrate on the roadway and when they misbehave, “it can easily divert the driver’s attention away from the road. So, when students shout, argue, or get physical with one another, it only makes a bus driver’s task more difficult to complete and that is getting these students to and from their destinations safely.

Unfortunately, there are times when students will use their bus ride as an opportunity to engage in a fight or argument and it only heightens the risk for others traveling on the bus, including the driver. And as bus drivers in certain states are already claiming they don’t receive adequate training on how to handle disciplinary issues, it only makes their job more difficult. But, there are some things bus drivers can do to address extreme behavior they witness on the bus and we share with you some of these tips below.

  1. When student behavior gets out of hand, slowly and calmly pull the bus over to the side of the road and stop. Do not continue driving with students that are out of control. Once the bus is stopped, the driver can deal directly, and assertively, with the students who are misbehaving.

  2. Enforce the rules of conduct. The bus driver is the authority on the bus and you must assert yourself in this manner. There are certain rules students must follow while riding on the bus and it is the duty of the bus operator to enforce these rules.
  3. If student behavior continues to be an issue, notify the faculty at the school you work for as they can help address the problem.

[Source: The Training Network].


Because it is the primary duty of the bus driver to ensure that student safety is put first, they can’t risk driving with out-of-control students.

Now, if you are a bus driver in Syracuse, NY and were involved in an accident that caused by someone else’s negligent actions or even your own, contact today. We can get you connected with some of the best bus accident lawyers in the city of Syracuse who can help you recover compensation if you have been injured or defend you in the event the school is attempting to place all of the blame on you.