The Federal Carrier Safety Administration (FCSA) has recently issued various comprehensive statistics regarding the number of bus accidents occurring in the U.S. for the past decade. Although the number of bus accidents has steadily decreased over the past decade, in recent years, there has been a slight uptick. In 2012, “the number of buses involved in fatal crashes increased from 245 to 251, an increase of 2%.” In fact, there were two major bus accidents in the U.S. that received significant attention in 2013.
Despite the overall downward trend in bus commuter-related accidents, the data remains significant because, based on a 2011 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) study titled “Report on Curbside Motorcoach Safety,” about “241 million person-trips took place on all charter and tour buses.” In other words, the public has and continues to remain highly dependent upon public bus transportation for purposes of commuting. In fact, “the researchers note that buses and other commercial motor vehicles (CMV) have a higher likelihood of fatal accident involvement per registered vehicle.”
A different study by the University of Michigan showed that “on average, about 63,000 buses [of all kinds] are involved in an accident each year; about 14,000 result in an injured person, and 325 result in a fatal injury.” Other studies have attempted to perform a comparative analysis of safety data between passengers in a car versus passengers in a bus and have determined that “buses are not, by some measures, necessarily safer than cars.” The researchers state that “while bus accidents comprise a relatively small share of the total accidents (0.6%) in the United States, the number of bus accidents per million passenger miles (3.04) is comparable to the number of car accidents per million driven miles (3.21).”
There is also a significant relationship between one’s age, commuting, and the type and severity of injuries an individual may experience as a result of commuting on a bus, especially where “accident severity increases beyond the age of 55, and the most significant increase is for bus drivers over 65 years old.” In fact, model results show that relative to drivers between 35 and 55 years old, drivers over 65 years of age increase the likelihood of light injuries by 18.6%, severe non-incapacitating injuries by 33.1%, severe incapacitating injuries by 52.3%, and fatality by 18.0%.” Bus injuries typically involve unrestrained movement because there is no safety harness or seatbelt and as a result, a senior citizen in such situations will always be more prone to suffer severe injuries.
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If you or someone you know has been involved in a bus or commuter-related accident, you need attorneys with experience in such personal injury matters. Colombo Law is highly experienced in such matters and can evaluate your potential legal claims on your behalf.