Why Don’t School Buses Have Seat Belts?

What’s one common thing you do while you ride in a car or a truck?

Wear a seat belt, right?

We don’t think twice before wearing a seat belt because it’s that common. However, there’s one ride that doesn’t require wearing a seat belt. And that’s a school bus.

You may wonder why, and isn’t it dangerous for children? Well, it isn’t. According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), school buses are the safest commuting option for school children.

Being large and heavy, school buses are remarkably safe. They have seats pretty high off the ground. They build the school buses using “compartmentalization” which puts the seats very close to one another. This will stop kids from being thrown around in the event of an accident. Also, the seats have energy-absorbing backs. Hence, children stay safe without seat belts.

This article will help you understand more reasons why school buses don’t have seat belts and how they are actually quite safe.

Why School Buses are Safer Than Cars?

  • Well, the main reason why school buses are considered a safe option by NHTSA is their design. The design of school buses is such that they can resist accidents and hence provide rollover and crash protection. 
  • The school bus design is done as per compartmentalization. That means the spacing between the seats is set closely so that there’s no gap in between the seats. This ensures fewer or no injuries to the kids. And is holds thems in place during a crash. 
  • If there’s any kind of crash or an accident, the close gaping between the seats will not let anything happen to the kids. Hence, this ensures a good and protective system in the school buses.
  • If we take the example of cars, kids are less safe in them. Why? Because the spacing is not designed as per kids’ safety. Thus, injuries cannot be controlled in cars, unlike school buses.

Why Do Most School Buses not Have Seat Belts?

Due to the compartmental design, school buses need not have seat belts. It acts as a safety measure itself.

On the contrary, some school buses do have seat belts. The small buses carrying children with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds are installed with shoulder belts. However, it’s still not mandatory to wear those belts because of their safe design mechanism.

Things to Explain Safety to Kids

As your kid grows up and heads off to school it’s time to educate them on the part of safety. Yes, safety in school buses isn’t just limited to seat belts, but there are several other factors that they must take care of. 

  • The first thing which you must teach your kids is how to wait safely while being at the bus stand. When waiting, teach them to stand at least 10 feet away from the actual point where the bus will stop. This will reduce the possibility of accidents and ensure your kid’s safety and security. 
  • Next is to ask your kid not to rush moving to the bus as and when it has arrived on the bus stand. Tell them to wait for a few moments until the bus conductor waives a sign to start the bus boarding. 
  • Along with that, you must also teach your kids about how they should enter and exit the buses so that no injuries or collisions are caused. Tell them to move and exit one at a time and make sure that they are holding on to the bus railings so that their feet do not slip at the stairs of the bus. 
  • Finally, tell your kids not to stand in the vicinity of the bus and to remain seated until their final destination arrives.

Why Don’t School Buses Need Seat Belts?

As discussed above, as per NHTSA, not having seat belts on the school buses is not an issue. Why? Because of the proper compartmentalization and fewer gaps in between the seats. There are several other reasons for this.

  1. They Are Not Needed

Well, the primary purpose here is to ensure kids’ safety, which is being solved with the help of the right design and good compartmentalization in the school buses. Hence, there’s no need to implement a seat belt system in school buses.

  1. Time-Consuming Process

Even if the seat belts are installed in school buses, it’ll increase the time for the pickup and drop of every child. Why? Because the bus conductor would then need to tie up and remove children’s seat belts. This will become unnecessarily time-consuming. Here the designers of school buses have played their part well by implementing a design where they are no longer needed.

  1. No Traveling on the Highway

There is more risk when cars are traveling on highways which is not the case in school buses. School buses have a maximum speed limit of up to 45 mph, and hence they run locally. Running locally means not going beyond this speed limit, which makes things a lot safer for children.

  1. Easy Evacuation of Kids

No seat belts lead to the smooth evacuation of the kids. Even if there’s a situation like an accident, it becomes an easy task to move the kids out of the school buses. If belts are there on every kids’ chest, it would be impossible to evacuate the children in a timely manner, and hence more casualties could be faced.

Key Takeaways

We believe that you must now have your answer to why school buses do not have seat belts. It is somewhat okay not to have a system of seat belts installed in the school buses, for reasons we have stated above.

So, keep your child’s safety in mind and keep faith in the compartmental design of the school buses.

Similar Posts:

About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

Leave a Comment