Fatal Injuries in Bus Crashes: lack of seat belts for passengers

In the early morning hours of July 22, 2010, another bus crashed in Fresno, California and resulted in several fatalities. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38359546/ns/us_news-life

This crash involved another Greyhound bus which swerved to avoid a vehicle and then lost control and crashed. These crashes generally involve the bus rolling over several times. When the bus rolls, the windows often break exposing the passengers to the risk of ejection. The risk of ejection is high because the bus companies fail to provide seat belts for their passengers. Those passengers who remain inside the bus are at risk for serious injury due to the lack of passenger restraints as well.

For years the bus industry has known of the specific risk of injury to passengers when a bus crashes. Following a bus crash in 1968, the National Transporation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a recommendation that seat belts be provided for passengers. This recommendation remains ignored by the bus manufacturers and bus companies. The bus companies claim that the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) require that seat belts be provided, but only for the driver of the bus. The severe injuries to passengers generally occur because they are ejected from confines of the bus through broken windows; those passengers that remain inside the bus suffer severe injuries due to contact with the rigid surfaces inside the bus because they are also unrestrained. The NTSB issued further recommendations in 1999. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted studies supporting the recommendations of the NTSB. The bus companies who manufacture the vehicle, or those that operate them on our highways, continually refuse to install seat belts for use by their passengers despite decades of knowledge of the severe risk of injury and death to their passengers.

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