Regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have recently announced their proposal for a new regulation that would impact buses and large motorcoaches. In particular, this NHTSA bus regulation would mandate specific structural design changes for large passenger vehicles in order to reduce the risks of passenger ejection and passenger crushing in the event of a rollover bus accident.

The announcement of this NHTSA bus regulation was officially released at the end of July 2014, and the comment period for the public will extend through September. Regulators’ goal is to have this proposed NHTSA bus regulation go into effect before the end of 2014.

What the NHTSA Bus Regulation Would Change

A proposed NHTSA bus regulation would impose new structural requirements for large buses to better protect passengers and save lives in the event of rollovers.

A proposed NHTSA bus regulation would impose new structural requirements for large buses to better protect passengers and save lives in the event of rollovers.

If the proposed NHTSA bus regulation is ultimately enacted, it would require that all newly manufactured buses:

  • Have a minimum amount of space for each passenger and that this space is considered to be “survivable space” in the event of a rollover bus accident
  • Have emergency exits that will stay closed during rollovers but will still be operable after such accidents (and testing that simulates such accidents)
  • Have fixtures (including overhead racks, window features and seating fixtures) that would not come loose during rollover accidents.

Owners of buses would have three years to make the required changes to their large passenger vehicles if the NHTSA bus regulation takes effect.

In explaining the reasoning behind proposing this NHTSA bus regulation, NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman stated:

The traveling public deserves safer service and peace of mind when they board a motorcoach or large bus… stronger large bus structures, combined with seat belt use will help keep passengers secured and protected in the event of a crash.

Similarly, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx explained:

The consequences for passengers in rollover crashes are severe…I want passengers to know that when this Department sees opportunities to make their travel safer so that they can more confidently visit their families or get to work, we are going to do just that and we believe this proposal is a step in that direction.

Contacting a Denver Bus Accident Lawyer at the Cederberg Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident – or if you have lost a loved one in any type of motor vehicle accident, contact a Denver bus accident lawyer at the Cederberg Law Firm by calling us at 303-499-0449 or emailing us using the form at the side of the screen.

For more than 35 years, our esteemed legal professionals have been successful at securing results and compensation for people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and other types of traffic accidents. Having handled countless cases, our attorneys have a deep understanding of the law, as well as the legal experience you need, and we can fiercely defend your rights in any legal setting.

In addition to offering free initial consults and contingency fee options, our lawyers make hospital visits to ensure that you have access to the legal support you need – whenever you need it.