School Bus Collision Summary, Canada 1989-1997: Selected Case Summaries (cont'd)


In one incident, a large bus left the road and rolled on its right side, slid down an embankment and hit a drainage ditch. Six children received minor injuries but one child suffered a lacerated spleen when she was thrown into the door area. Although spleen injuries sometimes result from seat belts, it is more likely that she would not have been injured had she been restrained.

In another case, a school bus entered a ditch on its left side and was in the process of rolling onto its roof when it struck an earth ridge with the roof. The bus rotated about the front of the roof and completed a pitch pole revolution, striking the ground violently with the rear bumper. Due to the complex and violent dynamics of the collision, the 17- and 18-year-old students would be thrown upward and forward and then forced violently down and across toward the rear of the bus. The major damage to the interior of the bus consisted of deformation to the seat backs on the rear right side.

Deformation to seat backs (16647 bytes)
Deformation to seat backs

The collision resulted in a moderate laceration to the back of one student, and a broken collar bone to another, plus several minor injuries to the 15 students involved. Considering the complex and violent dynamics of the collision, the injuries were neither frequent nor severe. The occupant compartment functioned well in preventing injuries but the injuries which did occur may have been prevented had seat belts been present.

Side Impact

In two side impact cases, children were injured due to contact with other children. These children may not have received injuries, or their injuries may have been less severe, if they had worn belts.


Emergency exit opened (13863 bytes)
Emergency exit opened

In 26 collisions involving 548 children, 8 of which were severe rollovers, only one case of ejection occurred.

In the only case of occupant ejection, a child was thrown onto the roadway when a school bus was impacted in the side by an ambulance and the rear emergency exit came open.

The child suffered critical, non-fatal head injuries from impact with the roadway. She would not have been ejected had she worn a seat belt.

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