Many parents assume that their kids will be safe as they travel back and forth on school busses. While countless children travel on these without encountering any problems, a small handful gets hurt. Federal law doesn’t require school buses to come equipped with seat belts. California requires manufacturers to install them on their larger ones. With one or two people responsible for so many kids, there’s no guarantee that they wear them or that these seat belts will do everything necessary to keep them from getting hurt.
How deadly school bus accidents can be
Safety analysts once simulated a bus rollover incident in which they placed 15 crash dummies inside. At least seven weren’t secured in their seats by belts, whereas eight were. What happened inside the bus during that accident is concerning.
One of the dummies who didn’t have a fastened seat belt on snapped their neck as the crash sent them flying up in the air, whereas two other unbelted occupants collided with the seats in front of them. The eight passengers strapped into the seats with seat belts remained securely in their streets during the rollover incident.
Seat belts aren’t the only safety equipment that can keep school bus riders safe
Federal agencies differ in opinions regarding what school bus seating arrangement they believe keeps kids the safest. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) contends that buses that come equipped with 3-point seat belts are most apt to keep kids the safest in an accident. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) argues that compartmented seats are best for keeping children safe should their school roll over.
School bus drivers are supposed to focus not only on the safe operation of the vehicle but also on making sure the occupants behave. While there are sometimes assistants on board to help them, they can’t do everything. Accidents are often unpredictable too.
The serious injuries that children suffer in accidents can leave them with lasting impairments that can impact them for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, California law allows anyone who suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. A personal injury attorney can advise you of your right to hold the person or entity who left you injured liable in your Manhattan Beach case.