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Old 05-16-2020, 10:38 PM   #1
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Bus crash tests

Haven't seen these before:







These all seem to be from a company (IMMI) that makes three-point seat belts for buses and is lobbying for laws to make three-point belts mandatory, but the crash tests are interesting. They certainly seem more varied than just straight on into a wall, which probably wouldn't be a very common accident scenario.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:39 AM   #2
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I'd really not like to test any of those scenarios while driving a bus.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:00 AM   #3
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As a grumpy old man who was never a kid, I support mandatory seat belts in school busses so kids don't jump around the seats and engage in other hooligan behavior.


But in all seriousness... when I was planning my seat belt setup for the back, I did a lot of research and determined the seatbelts are not really necessary for school busses (but they can't hurt!).


Quote:
But there's another reason too: school buses are built like tanks on purpose. The ribs and the frame, generally made of steel, are built to protect and prevent the bus from collapsing if it rolls. This provides an added benefit of increasing the weight, or mass, of the bus, such that in a collision with another vehicle on the road, chances are you'll be bigger and receive less damage. In fact, of the 270 million vehicles on the road in 2016, 113 million were cars, ~1 million were buses, and 146 million were trucks--meaning that, in general, you are going to be heavier and larger than about half of the vehicles out there. And since we know truck and bus drivers have much more training and experience, the chances that you'll be in an accident with a vehicle larger than yours is even smaller. For example, in 2017, there were 34,247 fatal auto accidents, of which 4,880 large trucks and buses were involved--about 14%. If you were to run some shitty statistics on this (this is a generalization and the numbers/units are not valid), then one could say that if you're in an accident so bad that someone dies, there's a 7% chance it will be with a vehicle larger than you, meaning there's a 93% chance the fatal injuries will be the other vehicle. Let me remind you that this not an academic analysis, just me throwing out shitty numbers.

Here's one more point: the bus body is designed to detach itself from the frame in a head on collision, giving the passengers a few extra moments to decelerate which decreases the severity of any injuries. See this in action in this video here.




But for skoolies, since we remove the padded seats and their tall backrests (which prevent occupants from ejecting in school busses, thus fulfilling the role of seat belts), it is my opinion that you must absolutely have seat belts if you want to be safe. I couldn't imagine being in an accident and watching my child fly out the windshield all because I was too lazy to put seat belts in.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:07 AM   #4
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The 2nd video posted is probably a very common scenario of any vehicle running a red light or stop sign. All you have to do is watch truck/car crash videos on Youtube. With that said, let's see them try this with a manufactured motorhome. That truck would have blasted through the manufactured motorhome and kept going.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimburke77502 View Post
The 2nd video posted is probably a very common scenario of any vehicle running a red light or stop sign. All you have to do is watch truck/car crash videos on Youtube. With that said, let's see them try this with a manufactured motorhome. That truck would have blasted through the manufactured motorhome and kept going.

That's part of the reason I wanted to do a skoolie conversion instead of buying an RV. I've been in enough RVs to know that they are essentially wooden vehicles and I would never trust my family's life and health while driving one of them.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:23 PM   #6
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The first video is interesting to me that the bus was ramped into a rollover yet didn't actually flop onto its side until it struck the barrier. It was actually 'skiing' which is a stunt driving maneuver where you have to find the center of gravity between the weight of the frame and undercarriage and the weight of the body and everything above the wheel line. The fact that it looks to hover more than 45 degrees and visually looks like rollover is inevitable yet it continues to maintain non-rotational forward momentum up until the moment of impact suggests that if unimpeded it may have actually righted itself and this is because a majority of the mass and weight is at or below the wheel line, making buses some of the most stable vehicles ever designed. The second video even illustrates that a side impact is not going to roll over the bus which could not be said of other large vehicles like box trucks which have comparatively high center of gravity/mass.

As for the seat belts, I don't think anyone can make the argument that buses wouldn't be even safer in collisions with the addition of seat belts but the situational reality is that for the rest of the time they can pose more problems than protections. First is enforcement - if parents cannot constantly monitor their kids in a minivan, how is a school bus driver supposed to monitor 50+ kids? And if the seat belts are tied into alarms like the emergency windows and doors, the constant false alarms will drive drivers insane. Otherwise, schools will have to double up on staffing by installing bus monitors as well as the drivers. Second is abuse. Kids are kids and if you have a heavy metal buckle on a belt conveniently mounted to every seat they're going to figure out how to use it as a weapon against each other or vandalize them with sharp objects rendering them ineffective if they ever are actually called into life-saving service. It may not be common in person vehicles because the culprit is easily deduced but the anonymity of large segments of students riding daily is going to provide adequate deniability and therefore embolden troublemakers to vandalize the equipment.
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