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Are School Buses Really Safe?

If you’re like a lot of parents, you may have wondered if school buses are actually safe, especially since most of them do NOT have seatbelts for the children. Some parents even believe that their children are much safer if they drive them to school instead of them taking the bus, but is this belief based on fact or fiction?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “The school bus is the safest vehicle on the road – your child is much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car. Although four to six school-age children die each year on school transportation vehicles, that’s less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide.”

School Buses Are Safer Than Regular Buses

The NHTSA understands the importance of protecting America’s children. To that end, the NHTSA ensures that school buses are as safe as they can possibly be. This is why the NHTSA has higher standards for school buses than it does for regular buses, like those used for public transportation or to transport tourists.

“Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car,” according to the NHTSA. Why are school buses so much safer than cars? Because they are “the most regulated vehicles on the road.” As such, they are specifically designed so they are safer than standard passenger-sized vehicles when it comes to preventing crashes and crash-related injuries.

What About Seat Belts?

As a parent, you’ve probably noticed how most school buses do not come equipped with seat belts and this may have concerned you. While there is no question that seat belts are critical for preventing injuries and death in standard motor vehicle accidents, when it comes to school buses, it’s different. School buses are designed differently than automobiles and they have a different safety system, which happens to work very well.

“Large school buses are heavier and distribute crash forces differently than passenger cars and light trucks do. Because of these differences, bus passengers experience much less crash force than those in passenger cars, light trucks and vans,” according to the NHTSA.

What are the Seat Belt Laws in New York?

While seat belts are not required on school buses due to their unique design and safety features, New York State law does require that anyone who is riding in the front of a vehicle must wear a seat belt. And when it comes to kids, “Children under the age of 16 must wear seat belts when they are in the front seat or the back seat,” according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

To file a car or bus accident claim, contact DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata, LLP today.