Fatal Bus Accidents in Alabama
The Alabama Public Service Commission is the entity responsible for the registration of all motor carrier service providers in the state. Both companies and their vehicles need to go through a registration process aimed at boosting regulatory compliance and the safety of services being provided to passengers.
Regardless of such measures, fatal bus accidents in Alabama still occur. The good news is that both fatal and non-fatal crash events have seen a decrease over the past few years due to enhanced safety and a constantly improving regulatory framework.
Accident and Fatality Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) compiles thorough reports about accidents and fatalities involving both public and private buses in Alabama. Here are the figures for 2015, 2016 and 2017 (obviously, the data for 2017 is incomplete at the time of writing):
|Number of Crashes||204||186||48|
Data for previous years suggests that the number of fatalities has been going down. In 2013, nine people were killed bus collisions in the state. In 2014, there were four fatalities.
Alabama Bus Safety Provisions
Alabama has a number of regulations that aim to increase the safety of bus transportation. While most of these apply to school buses, the rules are also valid for buses providing church transportation and the ones that are operated by the Association for Retarded Citizens in Alabama (Arc of Alabama).
Drivers of other vehicles are required to come to a complete stop prior to reaching a bus that has stopped to discharge or receive passengers. Other drivers are allowed to proceed only after the bus has closed its doors and started moving again.
Buses that the regulation applies to need to have a visible sign in the front, as well as on the rear.
How Alabama Figures Compare to National Trends
The statistics for Alabama are in line with what national reports suggest. The US has experienced a massive bus fatality reduction, according to data by the FMCSA.
A thorough report for the period from 1975 to 2014 suggests that the US has gone down from 323 fatal bus crashes per year to 233 crashes. Bus occupant fatalities have also decreased from 53 to 44. Total fatalities decreased from 348 in 1975 to 281 in 2014.
This switch has happened regardless of the fact that the number of buses registered by transportation companies has gone up. In 1975, there were 462,156 registered buses on the territory of the US. In 2014, registered vehicles went up to 872,027.