The Pros and Cons of Seat Belts in School Buses
The use of seat belts in vehicles like cars and trucks is absolutely necessary. Michigan law states that all vehicles should have properly-functioning seat belts. All the riders must be buckled in at all times. It is an uncontested fact that they save lives in car accidents and truck accidents. However, school buses are a special case when it comes to the use of seat belts.
Some people argue that the way that school buses are constructed don’t allow seat belts to be fully functional. According to them, the layout of school buses and the design of the seats limits the effectiveness of seat belts. Furthermore, they say that the interior’s construction eliminates the need for seat belts.
Agencies have announced their positions on the matter. They either recommend the use of seat belts or find no reason to install them in school buses. But no matter what the arguments are, it is undeniable that seat belts have pros and cons for school buses.
The Pros of Seat Belts in School Buses
Regardless of the argument, seat belts still provide some benefits to those that wear them in school buses. Some of these benefits are the following:
- They prevent riders from being ejected from the seats.
Severe impacts can lead to passengers being ejected from their seats. In cars, the passenger may even fly out the windshield. While this is mostly not a concern for school buses, ejections can still lead to injuries.
- They educate students on road safety early on.
School buses are the only vehicles subjected to the arguments of whether seat belts should be required or not. When students ride other cars, they will be required to stay buckled at all times. Teaching them to buckle up in school buses can teach them to stay buckled in other vehicles. This provides an excellent learning opportunity, especially for younger students.
- Seat belts affect student behavior.
School buses can tend to get a bit loud and active at times. Requiring students to stay buckled means can impact student behavior. They will always be strapped down to their seats for the duration of the ride. Activity levels will naturally go down as a result.
- Seat belts can prevent some forms of injury
Keeping students buckled can prevent some types of injury that can come from impact. These include ejection, impact damage, and many others.
The reason why people are opposed to requiring seat belts to be installed in school buses is bus design. School buses are designed with compartmentalization in mind. These are already built to reduce impact damage on students through padded seats, proper spacing, and more. Does it hurt to have seat belts in a school bus either way, just in case?
The Cons of Seat Belts in School Buses
Some people also argue that there are cons of seat belts in school buses. Some of these include the following:
- Students can use the buckles as weapons.
Keeping a lot of children in one place for an extended amount of time can spell trouble. It is natural for students to have disagreements in this case. Some people argue that students can use the buckles of their seatbelts as weapons.
- Seat belts reduce the mobility of students.
Having to wear seat belts can prevent students from moving freely. Mobility is crucial in some situations. These include fires, high floods, and other calamities. Seat belts can make it difficult for some students, especially the younger ones, should the need to evacuate come. Seat belts may also fail to work properly in some cases. This can lead to some students getting stuck as a result.
- Seat belts may cause injury in some cases.
Some students will inevitably stay buckled while others won’t. When a crash occurs, the unbuckled students may cause injury to the ones strapped in.
- The costs of installing seat belts will be high
Seat belts are cheap to buy individually. However, the costs will be very high if all school buses nationwide are required to install seat belts.
Always Stay Vigilant and Safe on the Road
Road accidents are quite common. If you or any of your loved ones gets involved in a road accident, give us a call. You might have a claim to help cover medical expenses. We at The Clark Law Office have personal injury lawyers who are experienced in these cases. Contact us at +1 (517) 347-6900. Our team is always ready to help.