You wouldn't think of allowing your kids to ride in the car without wearing their seat belts. Yet, millions of parents send their kids off each morning on school buses that are unequipped with child restraints of any kind.

It's true that school buses are designed to withstand collisions. They have special features that protect them from rollover crashes and being crushed in accidents. The seats are also specially designed to cushion young bodies in the event of a wreck. Still, students can get injured if their school bus gets into an accident.

School bus wreck sends 10 to hospital

That's a reality that some Jefferson County parents encountered in November when the school bus transporting 18 students to Iroquois High School got into an accident. The accident happened on Friday, Nov. 9, during the morning run.

According to the spokesperson for the Jefferson County Public Schools, another motorist struck the school bus from the rear. Ten students suffered minor injuries that were said to include back and neck pain. They sought treatment at area hospitals after the accident while the eight uninjured students aboard continued on to school.

The Courier-Journal reported that the school bus sustained minor damage from the collision.

How safe is your child's school bus?

Most children who depend on school buses to ferry them to and from school each day will ride the bus without incident for their entire school careers. However, all it takes is one careless or negligent driver to send a bus full of school children to the emergency room.

That alone is enough impetus to make some parents question why their children's school buses are unequipped with seat belts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) oversees the design of school buses. Buses are made to distribute the force from collisions differently than passenger vehicles. When accidents occur, the occupants don't experience the same force because of compartmentalization of the interior of school buses. The spacing of the seats is close, and the seat backs themselves are designed to absorb much of the energy dispersed in a collision.

When accidents occur

Despite the special safety designs on school buses, it is still possible for kids to be hurt or even killed in an accident. Parents should be prepared to advocate for their children in the event of a collision that injures them. Filing a claim for damages is the first step to take in order to seek compensation.

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