Reducing Risk of Bus Rollover Deaths May Require New Safety Standards
Although the rate of passenger vehicle rollover deaths in the U.S. has dropped steadily in recent years, the rate of bus passenger rollover deaths has not, vexing experienced Texas bus accident lawyers and other professionals who seek to help those who have been injured in crashes.
Since over 700 million commercial bus trips happen every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently proposed a new regulation that would improve the safety requirements for commercial buses when it comes to surviving a rollover crash. The proposed regulation takes aim at three crucial elements to surviving a rollover.
First, the proposal would require new buses to offer sufficient roof strength to avoid crushing passengers during a rollover. A rolled bus would have to leave enough space in the passenger compartment for human beings to survive.
Second, the proposed regulations would require equipment attached to the ceiling of the bus to be mounted well enough not to come loose during a crash. Items like luggage racks and lights would have to stay put even if the bus rolled.
Finally, the proposed regulations would require emergency exits to work even after a rollover occurred. Operating emergency exits are crucial when passengers need to exit the bus quickly or when the bus’s usual doors cannot be opened, which can easily happen in a rollover situation.
The proposal includes an outline of how new buses would be tested to ensure they met the regulations. Support for the proposal comes from organizations like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is responsible for overseeing the operation of commercial truck and bus companies and making sure these vehicles follow safety regulations on the road.