Eleven Lakeland Students Injured After School Bus Collision
Eleven students from a Lakeland elementary school along with two adults had to be hospitalized Monday, October 3, after a car collided with their school bus on South Florida Avenue and Fitzgerald Road in Polk County. There were 45 children on the bus from Scott Lake Elementary School ranging from kindergartners to fifth graders and the children injured received minor injuries according to the Polk County Fire and Rescue. The Florida school bus accident happened around 2:45 p.m. after the bus left the school. Witnesses said it appeared the bus crashed into a vehicle which led to a chain reaction involving four vehicles in all. This is reportedly the first time the 60-year-old bus driver had had any problems with Polk County public schools since he began working as a driver two years ago. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office will begin an internal investigation.
Let’s hope the children are okay. This crash was unusual in that in the three other bus-related crashes, a vehicle has crashed into a school bus.
School Bus Safety
School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation on the road today with an average of seven passenger fatalities among the 23.5 million children transported in the U.S. every day.
Florida is one of the few states that have seat belts on about 14 percent of the 2,700 school buses in the state. Whether the children wear them is another story. And some critics argue that the two-point belts can actually cause injury to children. School buses also have something called seating compartmentalization designed to absorb the energy from those not restrained. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) believes school buses could be even safer if hard surfaces inside the bus such as the back of a seat, the sidewalls, window, and seat frames were constructed to absorb energy in a crash.