The National Highway Traffic Safety made its final ruling on November 25th, amending the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) on occupant crash protection. The amendment requires all passenger seats on the following motorcoach vehicles to possess lap/shoulder seat belts for each passenger seating position in the following vehicles:
- All new over-the-road buses and other vehicles with a gross weight over 26,000 lbs
- Shuttle buses
- Double-decker sightseeing buses
- Other tour buses
The amendment is expected to lower the risk of serious injury or death caused by front-end collisions and should reduce the risk of ejection in rollovers.
Overall in the United States, motorcoach transportation is quite safe. However, each year there are several crashes involving motorcoaches, which resulted in catastrophic injury and numerous fatalities. Analyses of these accidents revealed that seatbelts for passengers would have undoubtedly saved lives.
Several school bus accidents in 2008 also occurred, taking the life of a child in each (6 children per year die in school bus accidents.). This led many to question the absence of seatbelts in vehicles carrying the most precious cargo…children. The study of the 2008 bus crashed was done by Doctors from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Virginia. They reviewed crash videos with the knowledge of which children were wearing seatbelts and which were not. The doctor who prepared the report had this to say…
“It was very clear the more severely injured students had been unrestrained,” said Dr. Mark Zonfrillo, one of the doctors from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who prepared the analysis for the NTSB. “And had had there been more unrestrained, they would have suffered more serious injuries.”
If you or a loved one are involved in a motorcoach accident, you should speak with an attorney who understands the unique issues involved with these types of crashes. For a Free Consultation with a lawyer from Passen & Powell, call us at 312-527-4500.