ERIC Number: ED312745
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Improving School Bus Safety. Transportation Research Board Special Report 222.
National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, Washington, DC. Transportation Research Board.
While school buses transport more passengers per trip, the rate of occupant fatalities per mile driven for school buses is one-quarter that for passenger cars. Nevertheless, the public expects school districts and other school bus operators to take all reasonable precautions to protect children as they travel to and from school. Although a variety of safety improvements have been made to school bus design and operation, further improvements are always possible. Effective April 1977, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued and modified a number of federal motor vehicle safety standards to enhance the safety of school bus transportation. For post-1977 school buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds, these standards require that passenger seats be equipped with seat belts. For school buses weighing more than 10,000 pounds, the standards do not require seat belts, but instead rely on strong, well-padded, energy-absorbing seats and higher seat backs to protect passengers during a crash. Prohibiting standees and raising the minimum height of seat backs from 20 to 24 inches can improve passenger safety during crashes. Measures to improve the safety of bus loading zones include school bus driver training, stop sign arms, school bus routing, and pedestrian safety. Appendices contain details about (1) school bus accidents; (2) brief narratives of fatal school bus accidents in three states; (3) supplemental information on 26 fatal school bus accidents; (4) narratives of 13 fatal school bus accidents in Texas; and (5) cost-effectiveness analysis of school bus safety measures. (KM)
Publication Type: Books; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, Washington, DC. Transportation Research Board.