New York passengers and pedestrians face the risk of a bus accident on a daily basis. These accidents, causing injuries and deaths, are reported in this country every week. The National Transportation Safety Board reported in 2011 that buses and other commercial motor carriers are more likely to have a fatal accident for each registered vehicle. In addition to passengers and drivers, victims of these mass transit accidents also include pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles.
The Transportation Research Institute of the University of Michigan found, on average, that approximately 63,000 buses of all types were in an accident each year from 1999 through 2005. There were 325 deaths and 14,000 injuries in these accidents according to this 2010 report. Each year, on average, 50 passengers and bus drivers were killed. Buses in inter-cities, like New York, are 1.9 more times likely to become involved in a crash.
Despite the size of these vehicles and the duty of care owed to passengers and others, buses are not necessarily safer than cars. The Journal of Safety Research found the number of bus accidents comprised 0.6 percent of crashes, which is a relatively small share of total vehicle accidents in this country. However, the number of bus accidents per million miles in the United States was 3.04 percent, which is comparable to the number of car accidents per million driven miles, which was 3.21 percent.
The Journal’s study found that young novice bus drivers multiplied the risk for a severe injury in these accidents. Bus drivers over 65 years old also increased this risk.
Interestingly, this study found that risky or illegal driving caused only 17 percent of these transit accidents. This behavior was usually comprised of speeding, drowsy driving, and impaired driving.
More than 700 million passengers are transported by buses each year in this country, according to the NTSB. Accordingly, deaths and injuries will continue to occur from bus accidents. Victims of these accidents and their families should seek prompt advice to assure that their rights are protected in any kind of legal proceeding.
Source: Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, “Bus crashes in the United States: What does the research say?” Accessed on Sept. 23, 2014