Protecting School Bus Seats
School bus seats can often become targets of vandalism, so they must be designed to withstand damage while remaining comfortable for riders. Seat designs may also help reduce fatigue during longer trips and help make rides less tiresome for passengers.
Encourage students to wear seat belts; this requires community involvement and school transportation directors should explore other strategies to promote seat belt use.
School buses are limited by law to prevent overloading, which could create an unsafe situation when passengers are not properly restrained. Seat spacing must also be adequate so students remain seated during transit; unfortunately, multiple children often share one seat that doesn’t accommodate them comfortably and this often leads to them sitting together or even on the floor, increasing the risks for injury during a crash.
NHTSA has proposed new standards designed to increase school bus passenger safety. These standards would limit the number of students per seat and place seat belt anchorages closer together so as to prevent children from riding in aisles of buses where their injuries could increase significantly. These measures are meant to improve passenger safety while helping shorten drivers’ checks to make sure all children are safely secured using seat belts.
NHTSA will also adjust how it defines bench seat seating position width to reduce the risk that seat belts will not be properly used during an accident. At present, NHTSA uses seating position width (W) as a factor when determining how many belts may be worn on small school buses and large buses with lap belts for passengers; it’s defined as total width divided by 381 and rounded down to the nearest whole number.
School buses that require lap/shoulder belts will follow the same calculation for W as small school buses with lap belts; however, for consistency purposes the division by 381 instead of 380 will be made instead. This change should not alter the number of seats equipped with lap/shoulder belts on school buses since FMVSS No 222 came into force in 1977.
Seat Belt Requirements
Seat belts are an integral component of most motor vehicles. School buses do not currently require seat belts; however some advocates argue they should be added in order to increase student safety. Without seat belts in place, students risk suffering serious injuries when exiting during transit or slipping off while trying to board/deboard; these incidents may require substantial medical care costs as well as long term damage to their bodies.
Schools currently utilize a safety system called compartmentalization to protect passengers. This design features tightly spaced seats with high, energy-absorbing backs that help keep passengers within their seats during crashes. Although compartmentalization has proven effective against frontal impacts, some experts believe it may not provide sufficient protection in lateral accidents involving larger vehicles or during rollovers.
Many school systems argue that seat belts will increase fleet size; however, other schools have found ways to accommodate them without decreasing passenger capacity. Manufacturers have designed flexible bench seats which can accommodate three elementary age children at once buckled up per seat buckled up; or two larger middle school to high school students per buckled seat when riding the bus. Other districts have instituted policies of assigning all students an assigned seat each time they ride and making sure all riders wear their seat belt every ride on the bus.
State laws vary on this issue; for instance, some require students to wear their seat belts when riding buses while others set minimum standards on how many need to do so in order for it to be considered safe. Many school systems also implement policies encouraging their students to buckle up with high visibility enforcement or diversion classroom-based brief interventions to do just this.
No matter the choice made on whether school buses require seat belts or not, they already must meet stringent safety standards that encompass lighting, mirrors, controls, displays, tires, brakes, doors locks seats flammability material flammability requirements etc. In the end it’s up to individual school districts and districts should conduct thorough research before making an informed choice about what’s best for their students.
School bus seating differs significantly from passenger vehicle designs as it must meet strict safety regulations. School bus seating employs compartmentalization techniques involving closely spaced, high, padded seats with impact-absorbing backs; this design helps prevent passengers from being ejected in frontal and rear collisions while not providing as much protection in side impacts or rollovers.
School transportation directors have many choices when selecting seats for their fleets. Seating suppliers report that the top trends among school bus seats include vandalism prevention, style enhancement and optimized capacity. They’re also looking for ways to decrease weight and restraints. In addition, some are interested in seats which can accommodate children with special needs.
Manufacturers are increasingly producing seats designed to allow multiple kids to be buckled in. These models can accommodate three or four kids at once in one seat – perfect for small school districts that want to maximize seating capacity without purchasing multiple buses. Furthermore, these seats may be combined with booster or car seats to safely restrain children who cannot be restrained by lap or shoulder belts alone.
Other manufacturers are adopting more eco-friendly features into their seating products, including fabrics that are antimicrobial, antibacterial and moisture repellant. Some even employ bio-cushions made of 100 percent recycled yarn and naturally-based polyol that not only save resources but can reduce foam usage as well.
No matter the model chosen, seating must be comfortable and durable. A Collins bus features a G90 galvanized steel frame to protect from corrosion while its sturdy roll cage structure maximizes passenger protection. Its one-piece tubular roof bow is 66% stronger than traditional steel; additionally it contains interlocking tubular floor beams and cage stringers to resist torsional forces. Among their wide selection of bench seats available for purchase, Collins also provides Freedman activity seats that easily convert between one-seaters and two-seaters and three-point lap/shoulder belts for older students.
Seat covers make a stylish addition to any school bus interior and offer many practical benefits, including protection from stains, dirt and wear. Depending on the fabric used, seat covers may also be more durable and easier to clean than factory seats; plus they tend to be more cost-effective than replacing older buses altogether. Seat covers come in polyester, vinyl, leather and neoprene fabrics – some even offering two-toned looks with different colors; prices typically range from less than $100 up to approximately $500 depending on size and brand.
Before installing a seat cover, it is essential that safety issues be considered. An add-on cover that does not fit properly could impede the ability of side airbags to deploy properly – failing which could result in serious injury or even death.
Concerns should also be raised over how the cover will interfere with a safety belt system. A loose-fitting cover could allow the passenger to slip during an accident, potentially decreasing protection. Seat covers must be securely fastened with openings that allow the seat belt through them.
Whenever using seat covers in a school bus, it is essential that they comply with FMVSS requirements that directly pertain to new motor vehicles as well as those which indirectly apply. Some regulations apply indirectly as well, including for aftermarket slip-on seat covers that might come fitted onto older buses.
Flammability standards for aftermarket slip-on seat covers are crucial in protecting them in case of fire, so if you are unsure whether yours meet this requirement, contact their manufacturer to make sure that it complies with all FMVSSs.
Always read up on what the manufacturers recommend when it comes to seat covers and child car seats. Some suggest only using covers specifically engineered to work with that model of car seat, while others warn against adding anything additional that may shift during an impact, potentially lessening protection for children.