Parents expect school buses to safely take their children to school and bring them back home. Unfortunately, things do not always work out that way. School bus manufacturers aren’t required to equip these vehicles with seatbelts per federal law. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only eight states mandate that school buses have seatbelts. Michigan isn’t one of these states.
Researchers recently filled a school bus with 15 crash dummies as part of a simulated rollover scenario. Eight were strapped in with seatbelts and seven others went unrestrained. One unbelted test crash dummy went flying through the air in the crash, snapping their neck. Two other passengers without seatbelts slammed into other riders’ seats. All eight belted passengers remained in their seats during the rollover.
The National Transportation Safety Board recommends that all new school buses come equipped with three-point seatbelts. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that school busses’ compartmentalized seats are sufficient to protect children in the event of a crash or rollover.
All motorists must wear seatbelts no matter how small, or big their passenger cars are per state and federal laws. It often surprises parents to learn that most jurisdictions’ laws don’t require school bus manufacturers to equip their vehicles with seatbelts, especially since they carry children. Accidents are unpredictable and happen without warning. Your son or daughter’s life is on the line by not being restrained by a seatbelt.
Seatbelts can prevent motorists’ serious injuries. Police officers often stop motorists who drive unrestrained. It’s illegal not to wear seatbelts in most jurisdictions because it just might save your life.
If your child has suffered severe injuries in a school bus crash in Rochester, they’re sure to have a long road of recovery ahead of them. You may be entitled to file a lawsuit on your son or daughter’s behalf. An experienced attorney can represent you and your child to achieve the best result possible in your Michigan case.