NHTSA Announces Rule Requiring Seat Belts on Motor Coaches

A recent press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announces the final rule requiring seat belts on motor coaches. The rule will require lap and shoulder belts for passenger and driver seats on all new motor coaches and other large buses.

Seat Belt Safety on Motor Coaches Too

We recently reported on the importance of buckling up during the holiday season and all year long. Seat belts are the best way to stay safe in the event of a crash. Finally, the U.S. Department of Transportation has recognized the need for seat belts in motor coaches and large buses too. The NHTSA is hoping this new rule will help to reduce the risk of fatalities and serious injuries involved with motor coach crashes. Since frontal and rollover crashes can result in occupant ejection, restraint of drivers and passengers is a top priority.

From the U.S. Transportation Secretary

Anthony Foxx, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, said recently that “safety is our highest priority.” He went on to speak about the new rule as a “significant step” toward improving motor coach safety.

Just the Facts

• On average, 21 motor coach and large bus occupants are killed each year.
• 7,934 occupants are injured in crashes each year.
• Seat belts can reduce fatalities on motor coaches and large buses by up to 44 percent.
• Properly restraining occupants can also reduce the number of moderate to severe injuries by 45 percent.

The New Rule

The new rule, which amends Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208, is going to apply to new over-the-road buses and to other types of buses with gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) greater than 26,000 pounds, except transit and school buses. Buses that will be newly manufactured after November 2016 will have to comply with this new rule. This means that new buses and motor coaches will be equipped with lap and shoulder belts for all passenger occupants and drivers.

Although this new rule doesn’t impact current motor coaches and buses, buckling up is still the best choice when possible. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor coach or large bus accident, contact the experienced legal team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. for a free consultation.

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