Evacuating a Rolled-Over School Bus: Considerations for Young Evacuees

Characterizing the strength capabilities of the intended population is necessary to ensure successful operation of emergency exits during mass transportation vehicle evacuations. School buses are often occupied by very young children, and in emergency circumstances, may need to operate a school bus emergency exit without the aid of an adult. The rear emergency door is usually the largest usable and accessible exit following an accident. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the strength capabilities of children in kindergarten through second grade (K-2), and their ability to operate a school bus rear emergency door. Force exertion capabilities of K-2 children were compared to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 217, which specifies force requirements for school bus exit operation. Force exertions on the rear emergency door handle suggested that K-2 children do not have the strength capabilities to meet the 40lb maximum permissible operating force specified by FMVSS No. 217. Results also suggested that mean force exertions in the upright orientation are greater than mean force exertions in the rolled-over orientation. Seats obstructing the rear emergency exit were shown to have a statistically significant effect on evacuation time through the rear emergency door of a rolled-over school bus.


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  • Accession Number: 01671927
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 29 2018 11:09AM