Buses cause injuries, deaths without seatbelt requirements

Karleigh Gentry, Page Editor

There are over one million deaths annually along with, at most, 50 million people injured or disabled by motor vehicle accidents, according to the Association For Safe International Road Travel. Innocent lives are being taken each and every day for reasons including texting and driving, intoxication, road rage or just the plain stupidity of some drivers. People are dying while simply trying to get from point A to point B, and the family and friends of those victims are receiving the worst news of their lives.

According to Edgar Snyder and Associates, of total fatal motor vehicle accidents, nearly 50% were not wearing a seatbelt; however, on the other hand, front seat passenger fatalities are decreased by 45% by simply buckling up. This alone shows that seatbelts save lives, so why aren’t seatbelts required on all modes of transportation?

Buses are used by people of all ages. Whether you’re a child going to or from school, a teenager navigating through a college campus to get to your next class or another body crowding public transit, seatbelts are not required. 

While riding buses, there is no concept of personal space. You’re constantly leaning on the person sitting right next to you each time the bus driver takes a turn and hitting the seat in front of you each time they hit the brakes. Touching the person next to you more times than you would like to creates a feeling of discomfort the entire ride. While the ability to move freely while sitting on a bus may be enjoyable to riders, safety concerns should be put first. 

Earlier this year, a school bus driver from Dartmouth, MA, was injured after a car collided with a deer. It caused the deer to fly through the windshield of the bus, according to an article by CBS42. The bus driver, along with four students, was injured due to the accident. If five people were physically impacted by the experience of getting into an accident where only the windshield was affected, imagine how many people would be hurt if a more severe accident were to occur, such as the one that took place approximately two weeks ago. 

A bus collided with a truck in Slovakia earlier this month, according to an article by The Washington Post from Nov. 13. This accident killed 12 people in addition to injuring 17, which, although it is unknown whether or not the students were wearing seatbelts, shows how important bus safety should be; however, for some reason, it is still an issue that is not cared enough about. Even though this specific accident took place on the other side of the world, lives are lives and should be treated as such, no matter where someone resides.

Accidents are bound to happen since there are approximately 1.2 billion vehicles on the streets, according to Green Car Report; however, the amount of fatalities and injuries as a result of motor vehicle collisions will decrease by the use of a seatbelt. 

Not only do seat belts reduce the severity of injuries as well as save lives, but they also decrease driver distractions, according to Family Education. Passengers with a seat belt are expected to face forward rather than jumping around in their seats. For drivers with kids in the car, they’re a distraction, but it is no secret that they behave better while wearing a seat belt.

Since not everyone likes the feeling of seat belts, there is no way to make each person that gets into a vehicle put one on; however, due to the fact that buses are used by people of all ages constantly, riders should be required to buckle up for their safety if an accident were to occur.

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