Fatal Bus Accident Statistics – North Carolina
Traveling by bus is one of the safest means of transportation. Many people choose it because it is inexpensive. There are also many companies to choose from, with over 4000 registered in the United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation oversees the laws and regulations pertaining to their operation and safety, as does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
For interstate bus drivers, the limit is ten consecutive hours of driving. Drivers are also limited to 60 hours of driving over seven consecutive days and 70 hours of driving over eight straight days. Fatigue of drivers of all vehicle types has been a factor across the nation, and the government has addressed the problem with various laws. Safety inspections are also a norm but apply mainly to public carriers. Violations of safety laws or ignoring such recommendations can lead to mechanical failures (and fatalities aboard these vehicles or involving people in other cars or walking a sidewalk/crossing a street) that can be avoided.
Statistics on Fatal Crashes
Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration show a relatively low number of bus accident fatalities compared to other types of vehicles. In 2011, the agency reported one death and none from 2012 through 2015.
However, the North Carolina Department of Transportation listed 492 commercial bus accidents in its traffic crash facts. This included six fatal crashes and 177 crashes that involved injuries. For other types of these vehicles, other than school buses, there were 197 crashes with no fatalities. It also listed activity crashes, which totaled 76 with one fatality.
A 2011 traffic crash report noted 380 commercial bus crashes, with two fatal ones, and 202 incidents involving others. Two additional fatalities were associated with these. Counties with the most incidents included Mecklenburg, Durham, Guilford, and Orange. For 2013, 388 commercial crashes were reported, one being fatal, and 239 causing injuries. Another 72 incidents involving activity vehicles were noted in the report.
In its 2014 assessment, the North Carolina DOT indicated even more commercial bus accidents, which totaled 424. Still, there was just one fatal crash, while 157 resulted in personal injuries. Also, one out of 67 activity collisions ended fatally. For other buses, there were 211 accidents, 71 with injuries.
Recent Fatal Collisions in North Carolina
In July 2017, a pedestrian in Durham was killed by a bus after it struck him. At the time, the vehicle was making a left turn. There were no injuries on board it, according to an ABC11 report. A charter bus accident in Richmond County (September 2016) killed the driver and three other people on board. It also left 42 other people injured. The vehicle was chartered by a local church and was transporting a football team on US 74. Reports cited safety issues because a blown tire apparently caused the accident, and officials criticized the fact churches were buying buses but not caring for them properly or adhering to safety regulations.