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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has urged school bus industry associations to improve pupil transportation safety with lap belts and shoulder belts, after discussing in recent meetings the findings from two fatal bus crashes last year.

Two separate school bus collisions happened in Chesterfield, New Jersey and Port St.Lucie, Florida in 2012. Each accident killed one student and injured several others.

From these two incidents, the NTSB cited driver fatigue and improper use of seatbelts as two causes for the fatalities and injuries.

Another school bus accident in Fort Pierce, Florida, also claimed a 9-year-old’s life and further prompted the NTSB to call the meetings.

After the presentation of findings, the NTSB recommended distributing handouts, providing training, and creating guidelines regarding proper seatbelt usage among passengers of school buses.

While school buses is still considered a safe mode of transportation for students, there still far too many school bus accidents in the US. The 2011 report from the US Department of Transportation states that bus crashes injured 24,000 people and killed 283 others that year. A separate report for large truck and bus crashes listed 112,000 injured and 4,018 dead.

Families of bus crash victims can seek compensation for injuries or wrongful death. Many such cases trace back to human negligence, equipment error, or a lack of safety precautions. Inadequate seatbelts, for example, may strengthen a family’s claim, especially in states like Florida where they are mandated by law.

To properly fight for their case, a family should contact a personal injury attorney who has experience with bus accidents. Philip DeBerard has more than 30 years of winning injury cases, call 1-800-299-8878 today for a free consultation.