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NHTSA Recommends Seat Belts in School Buses

Posted on in Bus Accident Injury

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois bus accident attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,For the first time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a recommendation that school buses should come equipped with seat belts. For years, school buses, and other multi-person transportation vehicles, have been exempt from any federal or state regulations which require seat belts.

This is the first time that federal regulators have acknowledged that school buses should have seat belts for children. In the past, the government has always taken the stance that the design of school buses makes them safer than other vehicles. However, whenever federal agencies would offer up statistics of the safety of seat belt-less school buses, the statistics often were collected and provided by bus industry groups.

Since federal regulators felt that school buses were already safe, there did not seem to be a need for companies to be required to spend the money it would cost to equip the millions of school buses already in service. When opponents of school bus seat belts presented their argument of installing seat belts, it was typically backed up with analysis that the number of lives the seat belts would save was not worth the amount of money it would cost to install seat belts in those millions of buses.

The recent announcement from the NHTSA recommends that school buses should have three-point seat belts. Three-point seat belts cover a passenger’s shoulder and lap. The announcement did not say whether or not the NHTSA would be issuing any new regulations which would require that school buses be seat belt equipped.

One possible reason behind the change in the NHTSA policy may be that although school buses are designed to be safe in collisions, they offer no protection to children in the event of rollover accidents. Because of their design, rollovers are one of the most common types of school bus accidents. Having children strapped in with a three-point seat belt would hold them in their seats in the event of a rollover, and help preventing injury or death.

If your child has been injured in a school bus crash, contact an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney to find out what legal compensation you may be entitled to for your child’s pain and loss.

Sources:

http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/259662-feds-recommending-seat-belts-for-school-buses

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3211644/

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