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Crash simulation sheds light on Illinois school bus safety

We recently discussed a proposed new regulation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that would require seat belts on all new commercial buses. Bus crashes have grabbed headlines in recent years, Between1999 and 2008, 186 people died in bus accidents.

Now safety officials in Illinois are looking at ways to make school buses safer as well. In January a major school bus provider staged a mock crash. Recently, concerns have arisen about what happens when a school bus is involved in an accident and the driver is unable to respond.

In the simulation, four students and a driver were in a fake crash with another motor vehicle. The bus driver acted as an unconscious victim, unable to contact emergency responders. This emphasized the importance of instructing older students how to respond, whether it's using the bus' radio or their cell phones to call 911.

This information will help bus companies run more safely and develop safety, training and evacuation policies that will help keep children safer. This may involve utilizing other buses as response vehicles, placing them along routes so they will be able to respond quickly and pick up children in the event of an accident.

If you or someone you love have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver or unsafe conditions, it may be wise to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she can work with you to build a case and pursue any appropriate claims for damages, including property damage, medical bills or lost wages.

Source: School Transportation News, "Illinois Central School Bus Crash Simulation Exercise Sheds Light on Driver Needs," Ryan Gray, Jan. 15, 2013

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