This paper contains findings from the first series of comprehensive school bus collision experiments. Three full-scale collision experiments involving a school bus were conducted using research techniques and engineering methodology designed to provide realistic and objective findings relating to school bus passenger safety. The experiments conducted were: A head-on collision between two fully loaded, moderate-sized school buses, each traveling 30 mph; a stationary bus rear-ended by a passenger car traveling 60 mph; a stationary bus impacted on its right side by a passenger car traveling 60 mph.
The following categories relating to passenger injury causation were studied: location and type of impact, structural integrity of vehicles, vehicle size, seat design, type of restraint or force moderator, type of safety glass, passenger size, standing versus seated passengers, passenger kinematics and interactions, forces sustained by passengers, and many related factors.
Electronic instrumentation consisted of 61 transducers positioned in the anthropometric dummy passengers, on the safety belts, and on the vehicles to record accelerations and forces during collision. Photographic instrumentation included thirty-three high speed motion picture cameras and special photographic devices that were arranged within, around, and above the colliding vehicles to provide detailed observation of all aspects of these collision experiments.