KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a video that highlights school buses as the safest form of transportation for children traveling to and from school.
The agency notes that children are safer in school buses because the vehicles are designed with compartmentalization, a passive form of occupant protection. The design of the seats — featuring high seat backs, closely spaced, with energy-absorbing properties — creates a compartment that protects children.
“NTSB has found that compartmentalization works well to protect children in frontal and rear impact crashes, but, in some side-impact or high-speed rollover crashes, compartmentalization is not enough to prevent injuries,” NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said. “This is because the seat back does not prevent motion from side-to-side or up-down. In those very rare instances, for some children, a seat belt could have reduced injuries and even saved lives.”
Hart unveiled the new NTSB video at the school bus industry conferences in Kansas City on Monday. In addition to explaining school bus occupant protection, the seven-minute video examines three recent crashes — in Chesterfield, New Jersey; Port St. Lucie, Florida; and Anaheim, California — that have provided the agency with insight about school buses, compartmentalization, and seat belts.
Additional information about those crashes, along with the safety video, can be found on the NTSB website page dedicated to school bus safety. The video can also be viewed below.