Rollovers account for 60% of all fatal large bus accidents. When a large bus or a motorcoach rolls over, passengers have a high risk to die or to be severely injured after being ejected from their seat (see graph). Since 1968, the National Transportation Safety Board has been advocating for motorcoaches to be equipped with seat belts to reduce the number of wrongful deaths and personal injuries but the bus manufacturers have been effectively lobbying against it all these years because of the additional cost involved.
Last week this debate was partially resolved when the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a new regulation requiring new motorcoaches and large buses to be equipped with lap and shoulder seat belts for each passenger and driver seat starting November 2016.
Unfortunately, the regulation doesn’t apply to school buses, existing commercial buses and the majority of public transit buses in cities.