[profileleft][/profileleft]Nearly 500,000 school buses take to the roads every school day across the United States. The vast majority of these trips arrive at their destinations without any type of incident. In many ways, riding a school bus or a metro-city bus is much safer than driving a private vehicle. Unfortunately, when things go wrong with these enormous vehicles, they tend to go tragically wrong. Sadly, that appears to be what occurred on Tuesday morning in Baltimore, Maryland. A bus accident killed six people and injured 10 others. The crash involved a school bus and a city bus, which is a rare occurrence. It left behind a shocking scene of damage. Below you will find an overview of the bus accident and other information that should help put this terrible situation into context.
About the Baltimore Bus Accident
The Baltimore Sun released a report on the bus accident earlier on Tuesday. Those interested in reading it in its entirety can find it here. According to the report, the school bus was on its way to pick up its first student passenger of the day. It collided with the rear of a Ford Mustang just before 7 a.m. After the initial collision, the school bus crashed into a nearby cement pillar. From there, the bus veered into the pathway of oncoming traffic. It slammed into the driver’s side of a Maryland Transit Administration bus.
Both bus drivers lost their lives as did four passengers on the transit bus. The 10 people injured included the driver of the Mustang, an aide on the school bus and eight passengers on the metro bus. Some suffered minor injuries while at least one other person was described as being in critical condition. Police did not release the names of those involved. The Baltimore Police and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the situation.
School Bus Accident Statistics
We’d like to offer our condolences to those who suddenly find themselves grieving lost loved ones as a result of this horrible bus accident. We also hope that the people who were injured recover fully and quickly and that the authorities are able to identify a cause or causes of the crash soon. This school bus accident will now become part of the overall statistics regarding these collisions. As stated above, school buses are statistically safer than private vehicles, but the numbers are still daunting.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, tracks statistics regarding school bus accidents and other types of crashes. According to a survey that the NHTSA completed in 2014, an average of 122 fatal school-transportation-related accidents occur on an annual basis across the United States. Approximately 135 people die in these crashes every year. However, most of them are not occupants of the school buses. The percentage of those killed in the types of vehicles involved in these school bus crashes are as follows:
- 8 percent of the people killed in school bus accidents were bus passengers at the time of the crash.
- 21 percent of those killed in school bus accidents were nonoccupants such as bicyclists or pedestrians.
- 71 percent of the fatalities were occupying other vehicles involved in these collisions.
Those interested in reading the entire NHTSA report can find it here.
City Bus Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, it is difficult to come up with completely accurate statistics with regards to city bus accident statistics. It’s widely believed that these statistics are underreported, and the reasons offered as to why vary. Regardless, the reported statistics reveal that approximately three fatal intercity bus crashes occur in the United States every month, or 36 per year. These crashes tend to lead to multiple deaths per collision and a large number of injuries. Sadly, that was what occurred in Baltimore early this morning. There are many reasons as to why bus accidents lead to such a high number of injuries and fatalities.
Why Bus Accidents Create Such a High Degree of Destruction
The reasons as to why bus accidents hurt so many people and kill so many others on a per-occurrence basis start with the fact that these are enormous vehicles that can travel with as much speed as much smaller cars, trucks and SUVs. As such, buses generate a tremendous amount of force when traveling, and all of that force is unleashed when they crash. In addition to the physics involved with every bus accident, the following are also reasons as to why so many people are harmed in bus crashes:
- Basic probability states that with so many people riding a bus, more are bound to be harmed when one crashes.
- Generally speaking, buses do not come equipped with seatbelts or other safety equipment. It is common for people to be thrown about the cabin or even out of the bus when a crash occurs.
- People riding in buses are generally not paying attention to the traffic conditions around them. That leaves the totally unprepared for a crash and leaves them even more vulnerable to harm.
- The way that buses are built makes it somewhat more likely that they will fall over on their sides or roll over when they are involved in collisions as opposed to smaller vehicles with wider wheelbases.
What To Do After a Bus Accident
If you are involved in any type of bus accident, the aftermath is likely to be utterly chaotic and most likely terrifying. First and foremost, you need to do what you can to remain as calm as possible. From there, you should consider the following steps:
- Contact emergency personnel if you are not sure that someone else has done the same.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you do not receive it at the scene.
- Document as much as possible with regards to the bus carrier, the driver and the names of anyone else involved, including witnesses and other passengers.
- If you are able, write down the name of a police officer who reports to the scene.
Finally, after you have obtained medical attention, you should seek the help of a personal injury attorney. If this happens to you in or near San Diego, contact a San Diego personal injury lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.