Fatal Georgia School Bus Accident Reignites Seatbelt Debate
The death of a 17-year-old student in a school bus accident in southern Georgia this week has again raised questions about whether the state needs to make it mandatory for all school buses to come with seatbelts.
The accident which occurred on Monday afternoon, involved a school bus that overturned on Highway 113.The victim, a 17-year-old boy was ejected from the bus.As the bus rolled over, he came under the bus, and was crushed to death.At least 10 other students on the bus suffered injuries.
Every time there is a school bus accident in Georgia that involves injuries or fatalities, questions are raised about seatbelts and safety.This particular accident is no different.The debate has pitted parents and Atlanta bus accident lawyers against school districts.Many school districts insist that there is no convincing evidence to show that students would be much safer if all buses came equipped with seat belts.
During an accident, a person who is not wearing a seatbelt can be flung across the interior of the bus, increasing the possibility of injury.He may be ejected from the bus, placing him at serious risk of death.It’s difficult to say for certain that in this particular accident, the victim could have been saved if he had been wearing a seatbelt.However, it is highly likely that the victim would still have been restrained in his seat if he had been wearing a seatbelt when the bus flipped over.Witnesses at the scene reported heartrending scenes after the crash, with students piled up on top of each other inside the bus.That could have been avoided if all students had been wearing seatbelts.
Unfortunately, the issue of seatbelts and buses seems to ultimately come down to a question of economics.It is expensive to install seatbelts in all buses, and manufacturers of school buses have been successful in downplaying the risks from vehicles that don’t have seatbelts.