Q: Who causes the majority of bus accidents, the driver of the car or the driver of the bus?
Other vehicles cause the majority of accidents involving buses. Among these accidents, the most common is a rear-end crash, in which the bus is hit from behind. Studies show that, on average, 30 percent of buses involved in accidents were rear-ended by motorists. Driver distraction or inattention is often to blame—the person driving simply did not notice that the bus stopped to allow passengers to load and unload.
Who Is Getting Hurt in These Accidents?
When buses and cars collide, it is most often the occupants of the car who are injured or killed. A study conducted by Transport Canada found that in a ten-year period in Canada, 142 deaths were attributed to bus collisions. Of these, eight people were occupants of the buses, 90 were occupants of other vehicles, and the rest were pedestrians and bicyclists.
Obviously, cars are much smaller than buses, and are more likely to be seriously damaged in a crash. In addition, there is another factor to consider—buses are built to protect their occupants. Safety features on the bus, such as the height and design of the gas tank, ensure that the impact of the accident occurs well below where the occupants are sitting. This is good news for anyone who rides a bus and bad news for anyone unfortunate enough to get into an accident with one.
The data clearly shows that school bus crashes are most often caused by other drivers, and that the people most likely to be injured or even killed are motorists. But...
Isn't There Always a But?
Bus drivers do cause serious accidents—even deaths. No matter how well the bus is made, how safe riding on a bus usually is, there are many times when a commercial driver makes a serious error and endangers the lives of everyone on board.
We hope that this article has given you some good information on the causes of bus accidents in Canada. We know that the majority of people who visit our site have been hurt during an accident with a bus, car, or motorcycle in British Columbia. Likely, you are here on a fact finding mission—to find out what your rights are and to learn more about the type of accident you or your family member was injured in. We hope that this article helped you to understand the bus-car connection better, and that you know you are not alone.
If we can help you in any way—with legal advice or by helping you understand your rights, please contact us.