The Clever Reason Behind Those Black Lines on the Sides of School Buses



We’re all used to seeing the black stripes down the side of school buses, but have you ever wondered why they’re there. It turns out that there’s not just for design. The metal “rub rails” function as an extra layer of protection for the thin walls of the vehicle. They help absorb the force of a collision and also prevent a car from impacting the whole side of the bus in a crash. Rub rails are also positioned at specific spots. The lowest one is installed at floor level, the middle one corresponds to the bottom of the seats, and the top one usually matches the height of the top of the seats and/or the bottom of the window. This strategic placement could prove useful after a bad crash if the school bus doors and windows can’t be reached or opened. Rescue teams would have a better idea of where to cut into the sides of the bus and would also be able to tell where the impact occurred.