Coach buses are very common in Florida, and many of them are used by tour operators and tourism businesses. Some businesses and individuals are relying more often on discount buses and coach buses for transportation due to rising fuel prices. The increased use of these buses in Florida can lead to more bus accidents in and around Sarasota County.
In Florida, buses are not legally obligated to have available seat belts. A study that was conducted in 2002 by the NHTSA-National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that seat belts on buses don’t have any benefit in reducing injuries in frontal collisions. Young people have an increased risk of serious abdominal and neck injuries from using seat belts on buses. The study found that seat belts spaced closer together worked just as well as seat belts in protecting passengers. However, the study concluded that wearing seat belts during a rollover reduced fatality risks by 77%.
Experts speculate that even if seat belts were required equipment on all buses, it would be nearly impossible for the bus driver to force all passengers to wear the seat belts. School bus drivers would have to take their eyes off the road in order to enforce seat belt rules. Experts also believe that the cost of installing seat belts is too high because of the rarity of bus accidents and the safety records of buses.
There are now federal laws requiring school buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds to make seat belts available. Six states including Florida mandate some type of restraint on school buses. There are no such laws in place for coach buses. A proposed bill called the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act would mandate seat belts, rollover-proof roofs and ejection-proof windows. The attorneys at Michael L Morgan Law Group P.A represent people who have been injured in bus accidents. If you were a passenger on a bus that was involved in an accident, you may have legal rights to compensation for your injury. Contact the law firm of Michael L Morgan Law Group P.A Call (941) 953-4555 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your rights and options.