A mini school bus and a SUV slammed into one another in the eastbound lanes of Lido Boulevard in Long Beach recently. The accident reportedly took place near the Malibu Beach Club and resulted in significant traffic delays. Fortunately, no students were riding in the bus at the time of the crash, and only one person sustained a leg injury.
Although this incident did not result in any fatalities or other serious injuries, bus accidents — both school and commercial — often have serious consequences. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the most common causes of bus accidents include driver fatigue, inadequate occupant crash protection and bus operators who are not properly trained. The agency has called for additional preventative measures to improve bus safety, including:
- Enhanced federal oversight of bus operators. In many cases, bus operators that cause serious accidents don’t lose their jobs or easily find work with another bus company. The NTSB believes better oversight and stronger penalties for noncompliance could help ensure the safety of passengers.
- Better occupant protection. The NTSB has asked another federal agency, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), to improve the crashworthiness of buses, including greater regulations on protective seating, increased roof strength and improved window exits.
- Integrate advanced vehicle technologies. Technologies like warning systems for lane-departures, forward-collision warning systems and electronic stability controls are now available for commercial vehicles and, according to the NTSB, may significantly impact the safety of buses by preventing driver fatigue or distracted driving. Tire pressure monitoring systems could also help improve the safety of buses.
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