• April 13th, 2021

The project summarized data from a variety of sources on the indirect effects of seat belts on school buses. This report is a synthesis of the research findings and includes the results of a literature review and program scan. The findings also include anecdotal observations from bus drivers and school district officials obtained from a concurrent NHTSA project titled “Education on Proper Use of Seat Belts on School Buses.” Overall, the findings of this project indicate that seat belt use is associated with improved student behavior and reduced bus driver distraction. The findings also show that reported seat belt use is higher when there is a required-use policy in place, and that seat belt use is heavily reliant on the efforts of the bus drivers. It is important to not only train bus drivers in the use and enforcement of seat belts, but to keep them motivated to encourage seat belt use on their buses. While this study offers a view of the indirect benefits of seat belts based on stakeholder experience, a more detailed study focusing on the indirect benefits experienced by a sample of school jurisdictions would better quantify the potential outcomes of school bus seat belts.

Read the full study here.