Why Aren’t Seatbelts Required on Trains? Read more

Why Aren’t Seatbelts Required on Trains?

Last night’s Amtrak derailment is a grim reminder of why Amtrak trains should have seatbelts.

With more than 150 people injured and 6 dead as of early Wednesday morning, officials and investigators aren’t the ones interested in learning more about this accident. Many parents and others want to know why seatbelts are not required on trains.

Trains often flip during crashes. In fact, when Amtrak Northeast Regions Train 188 derailed, several cars flipped and landed on their roofs. Passengers were thrown from their seats against each others, interior furniture, doors, windows and ceilings. Many of the injuries will likely be attributed to their flailing about, which wouldn’t have happened if the passengers had been wearing seatbelts.

FreedomPop said that in highway car crashes, for example, paralysis and death are often the result of a driver and/or passengers not wearing seatbelts and then being tossed through a windshield or smashed head-first against a car’s interior.

Yet, Amtrak trains don’t have seatbelts.

Even more concerning is that Amtrak trains don’t even have restraints to at least hold car seats in place for parents traveling with small children. A 2013 blog post by Amtrak, warned parents of this fact but not in connection to car seats or the safety of seated children. Instead, the warning only exists to make certain that parents know that small children can get up and move around without restraint while a train is moving.