If your children get on the school bus every day, you probably spend at least a little time wondering about their safety. This is especially true if your children just reached school age and they have never done this before.

What you should know is that about 17,000 kids get hurt in school bus-related accidents every single year and that only takes into account children who wind up in the emergency room. That suggests more injuries could happen — they just do not always end with a trip to the ER.

Not all injuries happen on the bus itself. Some children get hurt near a bus, waiting for the bus to pick them up or while they get off or on. Any time they’re around the bus, they’re also around traffic. In seconds, a serious accident can happen. Reports indicate that over 40 percent of injuries on school buses can be traced back to car accidents.

The reason these numbers are so high is that school buses make up the United States’ biggest public transit system. Around 23.5 million kids take the bus when they’re just on the way to school or coming home at the end of the day. Many more take it to sporting events and other extracurricular activities. No bus system carries more kids, so injuries cannot be avoided.

If your child does get hurt, and especially if they suffer serious injuries, you need to know what to do. As a parent, you may have a right to seek out financial compensation to help cover all of your costs.