Bus crashes are fairly common, and when they happen, it’s possible that dozens of people could be hurt or killed. Many people don’t understand why they’re not wearing seat belts when on a bus, and they don’t know what would happen with debris in the case of a collision.

To understand how a bus crash can cause injuries to you or your children, you need to know why buses have the rules they do and why they are designed in the way they are. For instance, you know that children riding on a school bus usually don’t have to wear seat belts. Why? The buses are designed in a way that may keep children safe without needing seat belts.

Not wearing seat belts is normal on a bus

It’s called compartmentalization. The seats are designed in a way that creates compartments, with a seat to the front and rear of the passenger. This helps absorb the force of a collision. Additionally, all bus seats have padding, which further protects children in the case of a crash. On top of this, the seats are close together, so children move no more than two feet forward in a collision, further reducing the impact.

Compartmentalization helps a lot in front-end and rear-end collisions, but it’s not perfect in side collisions. In any crash, there is a potential for passengers to be thrown from their seats, and if the bus rolls, there is no way to keep them seated. Buses under 10,000 pounds are required to have three-point lap and shoulder seat belts, since the vehicles are more like traditional passenger vehicles or light trucks.

Debris is a serious problem on school buses

Debris is another major issue on school buses. Debris, like pencils, can be sharp. They can lead to puncture wounds and impalement. Other items, like school books, could be thrown and cause impact injuries. Drinks, like hot water in a Thermos, could also spill and lead to injuries. Overall, debris does pose a significant threat to passenger safety, especially since most won’t be tethered down or packed away.

If your child is involved in a bus crash, or if you are hurt while chaperoning, then it’s important to look into your legal options. In most cases, bus systems have great insurance policies. That should mean that it is easier for you to get the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages and other financial losses.