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Are Seat Belts Essential for a School Bus?

Monday July 4, 2016



As a parent, you may have asked at least once about the need for seat belts in a school bus. There is no doubt to the fact that school buses are the safest means of transporting students to and from school. It is 16 times safer for you than traveling in your family car.

School buses are designed in such a way that they guarantee proper safety for students. Their height provides good driver visibility and raises the passenger compartment above car impact height. Children are protected like eggs in an egg carton, properly compartmentalized and surrounded with padding.

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Seat Belts: An Extra Protection for School Bus Students?

Are Seat Belts Essential?

Even the safety experts do not believe that seat belts would improve safety. You will not be able to get any evidence that lives would be saved by using seat belts in school bus.

Some of the safety standards you can experience in the school bus include lighting, escape hatches in the roof, emergency exits, specialized brake systems and high padded seats that reduce the impact of a crash.

As you might know, school buses are designed and constructed entirely different from passenger vehicles. It is built to ensure safety and hence do not require seat belts. You can find it bigger, heavier and higher than other vehicles. Implementation of newer system such as anti-lock braking system would be more beneficial for you.

Unlike passenger vehicles,school bus protects passengers through compartmentalization.Some of its specialties include seats with high backs, seats filled with energy absorbing material, seats placed closely to form compartments and strong seat anchorages.

The use of lap belts can sometimes increase the risk of your child's head injuries in a collision. This can make your child sit firmly in place, causing serious head and neck injuries. If you use a combination of lap and shoulder belts, stiffer seats are required. In such cases, students who are not buckled up have higher chances of serious injuries.

Driver can not constantly check whether your child has put their seat belt on especially when there are a lot of students in the school bus. Shoulder belts can lead to abdominal injuries of your child.

Organs covering lap belts will be injured, especially when your children slip down. Hence someone need to ensure that seat belts are used and properly adjusted. At the time of emergencies, seat belts can delay the evacuation process.

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Pros and Cons of Using Seat Belts in School Bus


  • Seat belts avert litigation

  • Improve your child's behavior on school bus

  • Prevent your child from being thrown out of their seats

  • Your child's Safety is doubled

  • Prevent children from being hustled around

  • Your child get an awareness regarding the importance of using seat belts


  • Seat belts are not necessary, as school bus offers enough safety for your children

  • Not effective for you in most of the school bus crashes

  • Extra expense for installing seat belts in school bus

  • Cause hindrance for you at the time of emergencies

  • Misuse of seat belts during arguments. Your child may use it as a weapon

  • Create injuries and irritation to your child, as seat belts may leave marks on your child's body

  • Driver need to spend extra time for checking whether each of the children put their belts on

Though school bus possess an excellent safety record, you can expect accidents to happen anytime. These accidents can either happen inside the bus or outside the bus. Children who are walking or using another form of transportation are most exposed to injuries than students using school bus transportation.

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