Today, riding a school bus is second nature for many children. During their K-12 education, the average student will ride a school bus more than 4,000 times and spend more than 2,000 hours on the bus.
While school buses have become a normal part of everyday life for many Americans, here are three surprising facts you may not know about this popular form of transportation.
1. Not all school buses have seat belts.
Only eight states (Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas) have laws requiring the installation of seat belts on school buses. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the best way to provide crash protection on large school buses is through energy-absorbing seat backs and creating “compartmentalization” in the interior structure of buses.
2. School buses weren’t always yellow.
Prior to a 1939 conference organized by education expert Frank Cyr, school buses were painted a variety of colors. During this conference, Cyr set the intention of creating national standards for school buses, including a uniform color that would distinguish the buses from other vehicles. While some argued for the buses to be painted red, white and blue, Cyr argued these colors could make the buses less visible. The conference attendees eventually took a vote and decided on the iconic yellow-orange color of today’s school buses.
3. Riding the school bus is safer than taking a car.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are one of the safest modes of transportation. The NHTSA reports that students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus instead of traveling by car.
Although school buses were designed to be eye-catching and to safely transport children to and from school, the unfortunate fact is that accidents do happen and students can be injured while entering, exiting or riding a school bus.
Bus Kids Safe is committed to improving the safety and well-being of children who ride the school bus. Follow our blog posts and Instagram account (@buskidssafe) for safety tips and more school transportation related information.