Fatal Bus Accident Statistics - Oklahoma
Bus travel in the United States remains highly popular and safe. Federal and state laws and regulations address safety, but it is often up to operators to ensure vehicles are properly maintained and for drivers to be diligent. Fatigue, inattentiveness, and weather and road conditions play a role in many accidents and fatalities, but speed is often a factor as well.
Oklahoma Bus Fatality Statistics
Based on traffic safety performance metrics tracked by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, bus accident fatalities fluctuate from year to year. That is not usual, as many states see such variations. Based on 2011 to 2015 statistics from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the following results have been observed for Oklahoma.
|Year||Number of Bus Fatalities|
Comparatively, information from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office indicates 590 fatal crashes overall in 2015, with 645 fatalities. For all motor vehicles, there was a less than one percent increase in fatal accidents from the year before. However, state data showed a consistent decline in deaths from 2012 through 2015, from a peak of 708. During the last year of reporting, 439 drivers and 132 passengers were killed in accidents.
State data doesn’t separate buses from other vehicles but does reveal that motor vehicle accident fatalities peaked in January, June, and July, and fluctuated for every other month of the year. In more than 54 percent of crashes, the initial event causing the most damage was a collision with a person or other vehicle or some other non-fixed object. Nearly three-quarters of these were related to collisions with, for example, cars or trucks. Over 20 percent of crashes involved impact with a tree, while nearly 11 percent were impacts with ditches. Rollovers, median/center line crossings, and roadway departures were also causes of fatal crashes.
Oklahoma safety statistics also revealed in 2015 that:
- About one-third of fatal vehicle crashes were between 3 p.m. and 8:59 p.m.
- The highest number of these were and Saturday and Sunday.
- Over 54 percent of fatal crashes included a single vehicle, and 40 percent involved two.
- Nearly 19 percent happened on city streets.
- Over 65 percent were on rural roads.
- Alcohol was a factor in over 27 percent of fatal crashes.
- More than 16 percent of drivers were moving at unsafe speeds.
Safety must always be strongly considered. Federal and state numbers don’t always match. For example, there was a fatal wrong way crash in February 2015, involving a city bus in Oklahoma City and another vehicle. There were no serious injuries on the bus, although a person in the car was killed.
In September that year, a tractor-trailer collided with a transport van with a women’s softball team on an Oklahoma highway near Davis. Four people were killed in that incident. The bus accidents that do occur reflect the need to tend to safety matters at all times, regardless of traffic conditions, weather, or the time of day, week, or year.