In recognizing National School Bus Safety Week, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC noted that while today’s leading-edge active and supportive safety technologies aid in reducing the likelihood of commercial vehicle accidents, they also have the potential to improve school bus safety.
National School Bus Safety Week is a public education program promoting school bus safety, sponsored by the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT). It takes place the third week in October each year. Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety and braking system technologies, supports the National School Bus Safety Week mission of making school bus transportation safer for all students.
The company shared its insights on safety technologies and school buses Oct. 19 at the annual conference of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) in Grand Rapids, Mich. Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs, and director of marketing – Charging, spoke to those in attendance. His talk was the latest in the ongoing efforts by Bendix to educate OEMs, state pupil transportation personnel, and others about active and supportive safety technologies for school buses through demonstrations, webcasts, and presentations.
“Bendix understands schools’ commitment to safe transportation, and we will continue to develop the best technologies for supporting that mission,” Andersky said. “We believe the same technologies that commercial truck fleets and motor coaches use to help mitigate or even avoid accidents can play an important part in protecting America’s school bus drivers and passengers as well.”
According to the NAPT, school buses travel approximately 4 billion miles annually, providing an estimated 10 billion student trips, and remaining the safest option for getting students to and from school. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports indicate that the fatality rate for school buses is 0.2 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, compared to 1.5 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in cars. Those figures show students are nearly eight times safer riding on school buses.
Bendix asserts that school buses have the potential to become even safer, by using the same advanced technologies that currently help improve commercial vehicle safety.
The company has initially outfitted a new model school bus with three advanced technologies as part of its comprehensive testing and demonstration program. The systems are Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, Bendix® Wingman® Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, and Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes. Bendix plans to continue to add additional advanced technologies to the bus.
“No technology can replace the need for good school bus drivers practicing safe driving habits, along with continuous, comprehensive driver training,” Andersky said. “But today’s advanced safety systems hold the potential for making school bus travel even safer for drivers, pupils, and everyone around them on the roadways.”