How London’s Double-Decker Buses Ensure Safety

Ever been on a double-decker bus in London and wondered how they make sure it won’t tip over? Well, wonder no more!

Employees at the London General Omnibus Company put their 60-person buses through a “tilt test” to ensure they meet safety regulations. But it’s not as intense as it sounds – the test is considered passed if the bus tilts 28 degrees without tipping. To simulate a full bus of passengers, sandbags are placed on the upper deck.

Now, you may be wondering what those chains and slight lip on the ground are for. The lip actually helps prevent the vehicle from sliding off the ramp, and the chains (which are now often straps) are slightly loose to prevent the bus from rolling as the brakes must be off during the test. And don’t worry, if the bus does start to tip, the chains will catch it. The test is just to make sure the point at which the bus would tip is within safety limits – no need to completely roll the vehicle to find that out (plus, it would be a pretty expensive method).

So next time you’re riding on a double-decker in London, rest easy knowing it’s gone through a thorough tilt test to ensure your safety


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