Crash Simulation Stresses Benefits of Seat Belts on School Buses
INDIANA – According to a news story reported online at today.com, a crash simulation at a test facility in Indiana stressed the benefits of installing seat belts in school buses.*
Only eight U.S. states require large school buses to have seat belts. The vast majority of states have no seat belt requirements for school buses of any size. The issue becomes most prominently discussed in circumstances of bus rollover or overturn accidents.
In the last year, rollover accidents involving school buses occurred in Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and Arizona. To understand how potential injuries from these types of accidents are influenced by seat belts, a reporter with NBC News went to a test facility in Indiana, called CAPE. Engineers equipped a school bus with numerous cameras to show all of the angles of the bus during a crash. They then drove the bus off a ramp at 35 mph with 15 dummies sitting inside.
The cameras showed that all of the dummies that were belted remained in their seats as the bus tipped onto its side. However, the dummies that were not belted flew about the bus. One dummy was launched across the aisle and hit its neck on a bus seat. Two other dummies not wearing seat belts crashed into another dummy inside the bus.
“Anybody that cares about children, if they saw this, they would just be horrified at the dangers that they are putting their children into,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois). Duckworth just proposed the School Bus Safety Act in Congress to require seat belts and automatic brakes in all school buses.
“Most people have not seen this kind of footage,” she added, “and I think that if parents saw what was happening inside these school buses, they wouldn’t put their kids in these buses without seat belts.”
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