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Safety advances can make your bus ride safer

How often do you use public transportation? Whether you catch the bus for your daily commute or just for special occasions, it’s likely you’re a public transportation user at some point.

People view vehicles like buses as cost effective as well as eco-friendly. But what about safety? Few bus makers include as much as seatbelts for basic safety features.

Yes, buses are safe methods of transportation. In fact, a recent study showed buses as safer than motorcycles, trucks and cars. Buses accounted for just 44 of 37,133 highway deaths nationwide in 2017. That’s just .001 percent of all highway fatalities that year.

Yet, experts believe there is room for improvement despite the low number of fatalities

Among the most common recommendations is adding seatbelts to more buses. Seatbelts can protect passengers from numerous injuries, including ejection. While seatbelts on city buses may not be common or even required, buckling up whenever possible is a good idea. Accidents involving buses are rare and fatalities from those are even rarer, but why take the chance?

Think of riding in a bus like riding in a plane

The recommendations may feel like the instructions we receive on an airline flight and with good reason. Airline travel is most of the safest modes of transportation with zero fatalities nationwide in 2017. Your flight crew asks you to buckle up during take-off, landing and during times of turbulence. They’ll also ask you to secure loose items and keep your tray table upright in these moments. All these instructions, as inconvenient as they feel at times, are in place to protect you.

We should apply the same standards to bus travel that we do to airline travel. Ensuring that we buckle up when possible and our loose items properly secured in the event of an emergency help us protect ourselves and others around us.

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