For many people buses are the main source of transportation. They are economical and better for the environment than everyone getting in a car. While there are many positive things surrounding the use of buses, in certain situations there may be downsides as well. An example of this is when a bus is involved in an accident. Because buses transport so many people at once, the potential outcome of any crash could be devastating and even result in death. Most would agree that if there is something that can be done to reduce the risk of that happening, it should be done.
Safety is the number one priority of the National Transportation Safety Board. Accordingly, it believes that occupants of busses should be restrained in some way, such as through the use of seat belts. Several years ago, former transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that seat belts would be required in buses. Despite that statement, four years later, seat belts have yet to be a requirement for motor coaches.
There are likely several reasons for that failure of the requirement to come to fruition. The biggest reason is probably the cost. According to one estimate, to include seat belts in a new bus, it would cost approximately $13,000. The cost of retrofitting older buses is not known but may be an issue as well. Because most buses are used for between 20 and 30 years, there are many of them currently on the road.
No one is prepared to be injured or lose a loved one in a bus accident. When it does happen, it can be difficult to know which way to turn. For many individuals the best thing to do is to contact a personal injury lawyer. That individual can usually answer any questions a person has regarding his or her legal options related to a bus wreck.
Source: USA Today, “Seat belts on commercial buses delayed 45 years,” Joan Lowry, Nov. 17, 2013