During the first quarter of 2019, there were approximately 276 million motor vehicles operating in the US. There are even more on the highway today, many of which include transit buses transporting commuters to the office or school buses taking children to and from school.
Unfortunately, like any other passenger vehicle on the road, traffic accidents can still occur. However, these buses carry more passengers, so an accident with one can result in more devastating outcomes. Continue reading to learn more about statistics on bus crashes and what you can do to avoid being in one.
Are Crashed Buses a Common Thing?
Public transportation is heavily utilized in the US. In fact, around 700 million people commute by bus each year. While bus crashes account for a small percentage of all fatal accidents every year, the consequences are often serious.
In reality, the National Transportation Safety Board has discovered that buses, and other commercial vehicles, are more likely than passenger vehicles to get involved in fatal crashes.
In 2018, in Carrolton, Texas, an intoxicated school bus driver crashed into a dump truck and killed a 10-year-old child and their teacher. A charter bus transporting 21 people flipped in San Diego, CA, on February 22, 2020, killing three people and injuring another eighteen. These are only two examples of fatal bus crashes in recent years.
Even when passengers are secure, limited visibility from the bus and careless bus drivers can endanger pedestrians, bicyclists, and passengers in passenger vehicles. Every year, thousands of crashed buses occur with hundreds of deaths and thousands more injuries resulting from these collisions. These types of bus crashes often result in property damage, as well.
Fatalities and Injuries from Crashed Buses
Between 1998 and 2019, 6,770 individuals died, and an approximate number of 567,000 others received injuries due to a bus accident. However, many people who are killed or injured are not bus passengers.
During this time, passengers involved in bus accidents accounted for slightly under 10% of those killed. The remainder were passengers of other vehicles and pedestrians.
Buses with the Most Fatal Collisions
While fatal bus crashes have decreased since 1975, particular buses are more likely to get involved in crashes resulting in fatalities than other types. For instance, fatal crashes most often occur on transit and school buses. In the United States, 4,702 transit buses and 4,702 school buses were involved in crashes resulting in fatalities from 1975 to 2019.
Where Fatal Bus Crashes Most Commonly Occur
New York had far more bus crashes leading to fatalities (156 in total) than any other state during this period between 1998 and 2019. This could have a basis on the difficulty drivers have in negotiating New York’s congested streets and high traffic. In Bronx, New York, in 2011, a World-Wide Tours bus crashed and killed 15 people and injured 17 others.
The bus skidded off the highway, flipped on its side, and collided with a metal sign. The sign sliced through the body of the bus at the seat level of the passengers. This accident is one of the deadliest bus crashes in American history.
The cause for the accident was ruled as driver weariness, and World-Wide Tours ended up liable for inadequate safety oversight. The following states, California at 150 crashes, Texas at 145, and Florida at 139 incidents are the states with the most deadly bus crashes on record. They are also a few of the country’s largest metro areas.
A truck driver, who lost control of his vehicle, drove into a church bus in south Texas in 2018. This accident resulted in the death of the bus driver and 12 of the 13 passengers on board. Marijuana, along with the misuse of prescription medicines, had rendered the truck driver impaired.
Causes and General Bus Safety Tips
Companies with sub-standard safety regulations and policies, faulty bus equipment, poor road and weather conditions, and driver-related problems like driving while distracted or under the influence are possible causes of bus crashes. One of the most common causes is driver tiredness, which occurs when a driver’s senses and performance get affected due to physical or mental exhaustion or lack of sleep.
Driving while you are tired increases the chance of crashing. This is especially true for bus drivers who must travel long distances or adhere to strict schedules. Buses are much larger and harder to control than regular-size automobiles, causing other motorists to enter their lane too soon or rear-end the bus.
While buses are typically safe, driver error causes needless crashes every year. Keep these safety considerations in mind whether you’re driving a bus or sharing the road with one.
Always maintain a safe space between vehicles when you are driving behind one, regardless if it’s a smaller car and especially if it’s a bus. When you are behind a bus, your vision is limited, making it difficult to step on the brakes in time.
Recognize Signs of Fatigue
When you feel warning signs of fatigue, don’t dismiss them. Ignoring them puts passengers and others on the road in danger. Therefore, avoid driving if you are tired or taking any medications that make you lethargic.
Maintain a Safe Speed
Do not speed, ever. In addition, proceed with caution. You won’t get where you are going any faster if you end up in an accident. In fact, it was found that speeding saves roughly one minute of time, on average.
Have You Been in a Bus Accident?
If so, you must reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer, specializing in accidents involving crashed buses. Contact Alpha Accident Lawyers for a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your personal injury case.