News reports indicate that the bus driver might have tried to stop, but was unable to do so. So the cause of that Houston school bus crash could be brake failure. All kinds of issues could cause brake failure. For instance, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) signal ring failure due to thermal deformation is a problem for school bus fleets. But without more data, we can’t be sure what caused this particular Houston school bus crash. Authorities are investigating the school bus injury accident in Houston, so they might soon have the answers.
On a school bus, a primary concern is to select the right type of brakes for the vehicle. You need to pick the right brake to manage the intended weight load over the axles, drag, and high braking temperatures. The proper brake on a bus can help avoid other Houston school bus crashes. There are a few popular options regarding school bus brake types.
Hydraulic disc brakes
Secondary engine brakes
You need a braking system with strength and durability, and you need to ensure that you have the right components to fit the chosen braking system and the particular type and size of school bus.
Then, you need to conduct regular maintenance and inspection of the braking system to keep everything in good working order. Having the wrong brake system component, for instance, can add dramatically to the effect of “drag” on the system. This could wear down brake discs and pads much more quickly, and also add to fuel costs for the vehicle. A lightweight braking system could sometimes reduce performance friction and the costs of maintenance on the brakes.
Selecting the correct braking system for a particular school bus is more complicated than you might expect. And correct installation is another key factor in school bus braking performance. Even after the correct braking system has been selected and properly installed, the system will require thorough, regular maintenance and inspection to remain in optimum operating order. A school bus carries precious cargo. Taking all of the required steps to ensure a good, reliable school bus braking system remains crucial. A good, reliable braking system can help prevent accidents and injuries to the young people with whose safety the schools and school bus operators are charged.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced recently that police from the municipal to the federal levels have initiated a campaign of surprise safety inspections of school buses and other types of buses that will last through October 7th. The government also announced a new smart phone app to allow users to access a carrier’s safety record before booking a bus trip, and to report safety violations. Greater awareness and wider participation in the safety oversight process could help hold bus operators accountable.