In all states, it is currently necessary for both drivers and passengers to wear seat belts while operating a motor vehicle. In addition, infants and toddlers must be secured in a particular car seat. Why don’t buses have seat belts if we require them in other vehicles?
Here are 10 Reasons why don’t school buses have seatbelts
Despite their overall safety, school buses typically lack seatbelts for their passengers. Seat belts have been required in most vehicles since 1968. However, this is not always the case on school buses.
There are several valid reasons why school buses are not required by law to have seatbelts installed for their passengers. There are some obvious explanations, but most will likely come as pleasant surprises.
1. It’s not required as per NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not mandate seatbelts on school buses in the United States if they weigh more than 10,000 pounds. Source of this information.
Seat belts are required by federal law for smaller buses, but the choice of whether to impose them for larger buses rests with individual states.
Now only six states mandate seat belts on school buses (California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas), and some only require them on newer buses.
2. Seat belts work differently
Standard seat belts wouldn’t work the same way in a crash as in other cars because school buses are designed; their presence may bring more harm than good to a body.
The seats on today’s school buses are relatively high, and the vehicles themselves are massive and hefty. Because of this, their safety is exceptional. Nearly 25 million students travel more than 4 billion miles annually on more than 400 thousand public school buses.
According to studies, seat belts would not have prevented most of the fewer than ten deaths annually in school bus accidents.
3. Buses are safer than other vehicles
Regarding safety, school buses rank high on the list of priorities. The seats on school buses feature tall backs and plenty of padding for comfort. Additionally, they are crammed closely together to achieve isolation. The children riding in them are protected from the majority of the impact in the case of an accident.
4. Seat belts would be pretty expensive to install
Putting seat belts in school buses is impractical due to budget constraints and contentious because authorities disagree on the best design for these restraints.
There is no assurance that children would utilize seat belts, even if installed, or that they would use them correctly because of how much they move about. Given that they need to keep their eyes on the road at all times, bus drivers cannot be responsible for monitoring passengers’ use of safety belts.
Most states have decided that the added cost of installing seat belts in school buses isn’t worth it because, according to experts, using them in school buses doesn’t improve safety much. The associated costs are also not trivial. Seat belts for all school buses may cost each state well over $100 million, according to estimates.
5. Safety belt would restrict bus capacity
The addition of seatbelts to school buses is met with widespread concern from experts who worry it would restrict bus capacity.
If fewer kids can use the Bus, they may have little choice but to use alternative, more risky transportation methods to get to and from school.
6. Protect Your Kids on the Bus
While wearing a seat belt can save your life in the event of a car crash, there appear to be other, more effective ways to ensure the safety of students traveling to and from school via Bus.
To protect your children from potential harm while riding the school bus, they must understand what is and is not acceptable behavior.
7. kids would either not utilize seat belts or misuse them
Seat belts would be a great safety feature if only kids would use them, but even if every school bus had them, it’s doubtful that would happen. Imagine how difficult it would be to keep an eye on seventy or eighty kids at the back of a school bus when monitoring one or two is complicated!
8. The large, yellow school bus is merely large
A school bus’s safety features and requirements are the most stringent of any vehicle on the road. Buses have “compartmentalization” features such as tightly spaced seats and high, energy-absorbing seat backs to keep passengers safe in the event of an accident.
The NTSB and the National Academy of Sciences investigated frontal and rear crashes, confirming the design’s efficacy.
9. Buses travel locally
School buses rarely go faster than 45 miles per hour. Therefore they typically stick to local roads. Compared to high-velocity highway collisions, those occurring on these suburban streets usually cause less damage.
10. Inconvenient to enforce
You can probably imagine the difficulty of monitoring and enforcing the use of seat belts in a bus full of rowdy kids, especially since the bus driver is also responsible for safely transporting them.
Since it is common knowledge that this is an unrealistic expectation, car manufacturers have devised different means of keeping kids safe in collisions.