"School bus rolls over after crash; injuries minor"
"Woman seriously hurt in SUV, school bus head-on accident now stable"
"No one injured in Weeki Wachee school bus accident"
These happened within a few hours of each other, in different parts of the country (not in Missouri). Fortunately in these instances no one was killed, but the first headline was about a school bus accident occurring in the exact location where four teenagers died in a different bus crash in 2009.
What can be done to ensure our children's safety? As Missouri School Bus Accident Lawyers, we know that nothing is more precious to our clients than their children's lives and health. Nothing is more tragic than sending our children off to school on a method of transportation that should be the safest possible, and then finding out it was not.
Nationwide, over 22 million children use school buses to get back and forth to school, not to mention the millions more riding school buses to church or camp, sporting events and field trips. However, studies done on school bus crashes and school bus safety only count the numbers of children going back and forth to school. According to the National Coalition for School Bus Safety, this results in studies that make it appear that bus crashes are much less prevalent than they truly are.
Are Safety Belts Effective in Saving Lives During Missouri School Bus Accidents?
Currently very few states require safety belts for large school buses--Missouri is one of the states that does not. "Compartmentalization" between high back padded seats is the means used to provide passenger restraint during school bus crashes. Obviously, compartmentalization is of absolutely no use if a school bus is in a roll-over accident, as in the first headline. In fact, in 1999 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) undertook a special investigation of school bus crashworthiness and concluded that:
Current compartmentalization is incomplete in that it does not protect school bus passengers during lateral impacts with vehicles of large mass and in rollovers, because in such accidents, passengers do not always remain completely within the seating compartment.