273,000 Traffic Accidents Involving Buses Annually
Traffic accidents that involve buses are far more common than most people think. The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration compiled data recently regarding traffic accidents in the United States that involved buses and large trucks. The information is sobering and reveals the extent to which buses tend to be involved in serious crashes on America’s roads.
There were more than 273,000 police-reported traffic accidents involving buses or large trucks in 2011. Of those accidents, more than 1 percent (3,300) caused at least one death and 22 percent (60,000) caused at least one serious, nonfatal injury.
During the same year, single-vehicle crashes involving buses or large trucks in the US accounted for 22 percent of all fatal crashes, 21 percent of all crashes that involved only property damage.
Fully 25 percent of all fatal traffic accidents involving buses or large trucks occurred on Interstate Highways while 63 percent occurred on rural roads.
Fully 85 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in the US and 89 percent of nonfatal accidents involving buses or large trucks took place between Monday and Friday.
Those who are involved in accidents involving buses and large trucks often secure substantial recoveries as a result of their injuries. For example:
A $3.5 million settlement stemming from an accident in New Jersey involving a bus and a truck. The truck ran a red light and struck the bus, severely injuring a young boy. The boy, who suffered from traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of the accident, will likely need lifelong care.
A garbage man who was recently awarded $1.57 million as a result of injuries he sustained in a collision with a semi in Hampshire, Illinois. He was the sole breadwinner for his family, and suffered multiple broken bones in the accident, severely affecting his ability to provide for his family.
Substantial settlements for bus and truck accidents are nothing new. For example, there was a $2.5 million settlement resulting from an accident in Boston, MA in 1984, in which a bus was struck by a vehicle which had crossed the center lane. The plaintiff was severely injured after being thrown from the bus during the collision, and landing on his head.
The Department of Transportation defines a “first harmful event” in regard to a traffic accident as the “first event during a crash that causes injury or damage to property”.
In 5 percent of all fatal traffic accidents involving buses or large trucks, rollover of the vehicle was the first harmful event. Rollover was the first harmful event in 2 percent of all nonfatal traffic accidents involving buses or large trucks.
The first harmful event was the actual collision with a “vehicle in transport” in 72 percent of all fatal traffic accidents involving buses or large trucks, 77 percent of accidents that caused only property damage, and 85 percent of accidents that caused injury. \
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