I was a trucker for 40 years and a school bus driver for 15. School Bus Construction is MORE closely regulated than truck construction. They have to meet federal and state requirements and in NY are inspected twice yearly by state inspectors. That the body of the bus survived more or less intact in a crash so violent as to tear it from the frame and a very large majority of the people onboard lived is a testament to the strength of the body.
Preliminary reports are indicating the the driver missed his or her exit and was making an illegal U-turn on an expressway.
I would be more focused on that as what needs to be addressed, rather than the construction of the bus.
There is a huge shortage if school bus drivers in this country and a big push by school districts to save money by turning to for profit companies to save money and avoid hiring and training their own drivers. The savings are short term, once you get rid of your fleet, the for profit companies hike their rates.
The shortage is caused by almost all the jobs being part time, have much unpaid training to qualify for, have huge legal responsibility, and don’t pay all that well.
Our state legislators have made the bus driver legally responsible for the reasonable behavior of the students. One our drivers was driving a bunch of delinquents on a field trip to a state park. When I say delinquents, I am talking about students that have been kicked out of regular classes and off the regular school buses. On the way back to school these kids mugged one of their classmates and threw his jacket out the window on the I-290 causing a driver in a car to swerve and crash. Even though the teacher and his aide were on the bus, the driver was issued a ticket for failing to control the students while she was driving 55 mph.
Part of the problem could be solved by making these jobs full time with benefits by using the drivers in the time in between runs as building and grounds, or cafeteria workers.
Wgen there is a big shortage of workers you wind up employing so,e people you shouldn’t.