The Hoover Dam tourists - who had traveled from China to visit U.S. attractions - who were thrown outside the bus (ejected) had little chance at survival. Automobile, truck and bus manufacturers have been arguing in courts of law across this country for three decades that keeping passengers inside the vehicle (whether a tourist bus, common bus, car or truck) is the most important safety item. The mortality rate of passengers who are ejected outside cars, trucks and tourist buses is extremely high, with some studies showing a four fold risk of death. A recent article noted that NHTS has failed to properly identify “compromised compartmentalization” and lack of seat belts as a design defects in school buses.
We are required to wear seat belts on airplanes, and in cars we are ticketed if we don't buckle us or our passengers up. Why not buses such as was involved in this crash? These buses are required to have seat belts in the United Kingdom. The picture above is of a Starcraft which appears similar to the tour bus in the accident scene photos. These are type often used by Hotels and Airports. If this is in fact the correct model as is being reported, a Star Craft retailer lists "seat belts" as a popular options which can be ordered by the Tour company or Bus Rental company.
Front mud flaps; Spare tire and wheel; ... Reading lights; High-back or medium-back seats; Flip-up armrests; Padded grab rails on seat backs; Reclining seats; Seat belts; Fire extinguisher, emergency kit; ADA wheelchair lifts; Double wheelchair doors; ....
Tour buses are not subject to the same arguments Airport Shuttles and Hotel shuttle buses make about short trips and difficult maintenance. Tour buses often make trips on highways and at distances which make seat belts the most safety concern. Our lawyers are investigating whether (a) these buses had seat belts available to this tourist group, (b) the belts were working and available and (c) what these Chinese tourists were told about the use of seat belts during this trip near Hoover Dam. .