NHTSA Wants Seat Belts on All School Buses in the U.S.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is suggesting that all school buses in America be equipped with seat belts for students to wear when they are being transported to and from school.
A report by WKRN.com and WRIC says only six states in the country currently require school buses to be equipped with seat belts, but the NHTSA now says that seat belts are important to help save the lives of children.
The suggestions from the NHSTA coincide with the National Association for Pupil Transportation holding its annual conference in Richmond, Virginia, this week. Many of the participants agreed that child safety is of the utmost importance, but some expressed concern about the costs of installing seat belts on all school buses throughout the country.
Five people die in school bus crashes each year in the U.S., and proponents of the idea hope that mandatory seat belt equipment and usage on school buses will help reduce that number to zero. In addition, a seat belt manufacturer recently performed crash tests for ABC News that showed seat belts can help keep children safe if their school buses are involved in accidents and flip or roll over.
How Do Seat Belts Improve Safety during Car and Bus Accidents?
Seat belts are one of the most important safety features in modern vehicles. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, seat belts help reduce the risk of crash-related injuries and deaths in half. In addition, seat belts are even more effective than air bags at reducing these risks. The reasons that seat belts are so effective at reducing the severity of injuries and preventing them from occurring altogether include:
- Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected from their vehicles.
One of the biggest risks that drivers and passengers face during car accidents is being ejected from their cars, trucks, SUVs, or buses. Accidents that occur at high speed or that generate high levels of force—including roll-over accidents—are among the most likely to cause victims to be ejected, which poses significant risk of death and life-threatening injuries.
- Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from striking the interior of their vehicles.
Even when there’s no risk of ejection, drivers and passengers are still at risk of suffering serious injuries due to impacting hard surfaces inside their vehicles. Even air bags can’t prevent injuries from occurring during accidents, as victims may come into contact with the steering wheel, dashboard, head rest, door, or other parts of the vehicle, sustaining serious injuries in the process.
- Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from striking each other.
During a car accident, the movement of both people and objects inside a vehicle can be chaotic. In fact, it’s not uncommon for backseat occupants of a vehicle to end up in the front seat and vice versa. When an accident occurs and victims are thrown to other parts of their vehicle, they may collide with each other and sustain significant injuries, including broken bones, head and neck injuries, and severe bruising.
Although seat belts can’t reduce the risk of injuries during car accidents to zero, they can significantly reduce the risks that drivers and passengers face every time they get behind the wheel or ride in a car, truck, SUV, or bus. At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville bus accident attorneys have handled countless auto accident claims over the past 20 years, and we know that the severity of injuries suffered by victims are often significantly reduced they are wearing their seat belts at the time of their accidents.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car, truck, SUV, or bus accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your accident-related expenses, including your medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs. To find out how our law firm can help you recover these damages, contact us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or completing our quick and easy online consultation form.