Thursday, March 29, 2012
Why kids in school buses don't have to wear seat belts.
Despite the odd incident, school buses are really safe.
Like, really, really safe.
On average 11 children die / year in school bus accidents according to The Straight Dope and only 6 per year according to some article that's using the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a source. That's for 24 million children being transported more than 4.3 billion miles a year, according to that article.
That and kids just aren't good at wearing seat belts. They slouch, or sit sideways, or have their legs up and whatever else. All those things mean that the seat belts would probably be worse that not wearing one at all. Considering the weight of a bus and the fact that they're more likely to run through anything they hit, it's best if children don't actually wear seat belts.
So, the expense needed to install seat belts in school buses and the barely marginal increase in safety doesn't justify installing them.
Even so, California and Texas requires lap-shoulder belts on new buses and New York, New Jersey and Florida require lap belts.