Most people probably worry about the safety of transit buses in the winter, when there’s ice and snow on the ground that could make stopping one of those behemoths trickier–but it turns out that summer may be the season for bus accident dangers.
According to a study by the Center for Urban Transportation Research, your risk of having an accident with a bus actually may be higher in the warm months of summer, depending on where you live.
While the study was focused on specific areas in Florida, the implications it has for transit systems nationwide are important to consider. Essentially, the study found that there are no clear-cut “smoking guns” that cause more bus accidents nor a “silver bullet” that will clearly improve bus safety.
Instead, bus accidents result from a multitude of problems that vary widely based on location. In the summer, however, areas with heavy tourism industries are likely to see an increase in the number of bus accidents overall.
There are likely numerous reasons behind this:
— An increase in tourist traffic means that there are likely more drivers and pedestrians around than in other months.
— Tourist drivers are more likely to be distracted while driving since they are on unfamiliar streets, often operating by GPS and seeking out specific sights.
— Tourist pedestrians may not be from areas with large public transit systems, so they may be unaccustomed to watching for the buses before stepping into the road.
— Frustrated drivers (both seasonal and local) may get aggravated at the amount of traffic and rush ahead or cut off buses because they don’t want trapped behind the buses while they make their stops.
Whatever the causes, knowing that your chance of being involved in a bus accident during the summer should increase your caution during those months. Be aware of the increased road and foot traffic and keep “defensive driving” tactics in mind, like making sure that you have an assured clear distance if you’re behind a bus and watching for distracted tourists.
If you are injured an accident with a bus, whether you were in a car, on foot, or on the bus itself as a passenger, consider seeking legal advice about how to recover for your injuries.
Source: ABCactionnews.com, “Report: Risk of bus accidents increase in summer,” Lauren Rozyla, Feb. 25, 2017