Why school buses all look alike

There are very few constants in our world, but one American tradition has changed very little in almost a century — the school bus. According to Jalopnik the black and yellow behemoth, with minimal padding and no seat belts, may seem like a dangerous and antiquated conveyance, but it's actually remarkably effective at protecting precious cargo. The earliest school buses were called "school wagons", and they were as dangerous as they sound.

These wood-bodied trucks looked more apt to carry livestock than precious children. There were no safety standards for these buses, so some kids had to climb up into the back of the high riding bus, and on-road catastrophes were more frequent. 

Then, in 1939, a conference of educators, bus manufacturers and transportation experts schooled America on how to keep kids safe, setting many of the standards still used today, like that eye-popping yellow.

Today, all buses are required to have anti-lock brakes and an emergency exit. And, although most aren't equipped with seat belts, the seats and seat backs are designed to absorb impacts and protect the passengers. But perhaps the best safety feature is appearance — that bright yellow color, flashing lights and stop signs.

These required features help school buses stay safe since American drivers know to be extra mindful around vehicles with these immediately recognizable signs. 

The statistics speak for themselves. Out of 26 million daily riders between 2008 and 2017, only 71 passengers were killed in crashes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Previously: HOWTO live in a schoolbus