As New Yorkers, we’re pretty lucky to have a public transportation system that can get us from Point A to Point B in a decent amount of time – no matter how far away in our city those points are. Compared to other cities around the country, more people here prefer to use public transportation to get around instead of a car, and for many different reasons. Let’s talk about buses specifically. Not only are buses cheaper and more energy-efficient than driving a car around the city, but riding a bus in New York City also reduces your risk of getting into an accident that could leave you with serious injuries.
How Much Safer Are Buses When Compared to Cars?
The National Safety Council has said that it is 170 times safer to ride in a bus than in a car. To put it in raw numbers, while over 2.34 million people were injured in all motor vehicle crashes in 2014, bus injuries only accounted for 22,000 of those injuries. That’s a huge – and hugely important – difference.
How about traffic-related fatalities? Where do buses fit in there? Does the lack of seatbelts in buses make it more likely that people will die?
Not according to statistics. Vehicles that fit over 10 passengers are only involved in .01% of fatal traffic accidents. In a typical year, around 40 people will die from a traffic accident while riding in a bus. Ten of these people are bus drivers or other employees of bus companies. Urban transit buses, like MTA buses, only represent 11% of the vehicles involved in fatal traffic accidents.
Why Are There So Many More Car Accident Injuries and Deaths?
This one is obvious, right? There are far more cars on the road than there are buses. Simply put, there aren’t as many buses out there to get into accidents when compared to cars.
Still, there’s more going on here. Even though there are fewer buses, they are also on the roads a lot more than most cars. In fact, many are running all day every day. You would think this would lead to an increased number of accidents per bus, but it doesn’t.
Here are some of the other factors that contribute to the low number of bus injuries and fatalities:
More Experienced Drivers
The men and women behind the wheel of a bus are doing this day in and day out for their paycheck. They simply have more experience on the road than the average person driving their car to work rather than for work. More experienced drivers, especially those who drive the same route every day, are simply less likely to get in an accident.
Since buses are consistently picking up and dropping off passengers, they rarely reach high speeds.
Buses are a lot larger than cars. While this makes it harder for buses to swerve out of the way from other vehicles coming at them, it also means it takes a lot more for a bus to tip over or to be seriously affected by another vehicle. Because of this, the people inside tend to be jostled less when accidents do occur.
Despite the low numbers of bus accidents and fatalities, however, there is still a risk when you get into any motor vehicle. If you are injured while riding in a New York City bus due to an accident caused by negligence, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Depending on the circumstances of your specific incident, it may be possible to take legal action against the MTA or the New York City Transit Authority after an injury.
Learn more by getting in contact with a knowledgeable New York personal injury lawyer.