Submit your family's favorite Thanksgiving side for a chance to win prizes and have your recipe featured! →

What is the first thing you think about when you picture a school bus? If you are like most people, you think of a big yellow box that takes kids to and from school. Although technically you would be correct, you probably don’t give the black stripes on the side the attention they deserve.

Along with giving the school bus its unique look, they also serve a very important purpose. Those black stripes are there to help protect the children in the event of a collision. They are known as “rub rails” and they also stop a car that hits the side of the bus from harming the entire side of the vehicle.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This was explained on YouTube by a bus driver that calls himself ClawBoss. The rub rails are put in specific locations, including one that is installed lower to protect the bottom of the seats and another that is higher to match the location of the top of the seats.


If an accident should happen to take place and the windows could not be opened, then first responders would see clearly where to cut through the metal and access the area where the students are likely to be. They also know the extent of the possible injuries by seeing where the impact took place in comparison with the position of the rails.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Although rub rails are a part of school busses in all states, they may be different from one state to another. These regulations are not well known among the general population but they might include the gloss of the paint, the size of the rail, and the position.

Now you know.

Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes