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NHTSA Announces Seat Belts Will Be Required on Future Buses and Motorcoaches

Approximately 17,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each year because of school bus-related accidents, and an additional 7,934 people are injured in other motorcoach and large bus accidents. According to bus accident safety research, passengers being ejected from their seats accounted for 78% of all deaths in bus rollovers last year, and led to countless of other injuries and fatalities in frontal crashes. This has led many safety advocate groups to push for seat belt regulations in the future. (AAA)

Yesterday, those groups got their wish, as the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a final ruling requiring lap and shoulder restraints for all passengers and drivers on new motorcoaches and large buses. This new rule amends and expands Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208, which had applied to new over the road buses and other motorcoaches with a gross weight rating greater than 26,000 lbs, but excluded transit and school buses. Officials say the measures will not be mandatory until November of 2016, but a multitude of companies have already begun voluntarily purchasing buses with seat belts.

The U.S. Transportation Secretary cited safety as the agency’s highest priority when contemplating the new rule, and added that Wednesday’s announcement was a significant step toward reducing the risk of fatalities and serious injuries in frontal crashes and rollovers. Estimates from the NHTSA corroborate this statement, stating that the requirement could reduce deaths related to large bus accidents by up to 44%, and reduce the number of moderate and severe injuries by 45%. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Whether using a school bus, the CTA, or interstate transit like Greyhound or Megabus, thousands of people in our state rely on bus transportation every day, and when they do, they place their trust in the fact that the driver and the bus company have done everything they can to keep them safe. When serious accidents do occur, passengers can take legal action to hold negligent and reckless individuals and companies accountable, and for many, this is the only way they can pay the expenses that come with their injuries.

Our lawyers have aided clients seeking bus accident injury compensation for decades, which has included representing both the passengers of the motorcoaches and the occupants of other motor vehicles. If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in a bus accident, you need a law firm with experienced attorneys, who know the nuances of these cases. All of our lawyers’ initial consultations are free, and if we take your case you won’t pay us fees unless we recover a verdict or settlement in your favor.