Fatal Bus Accidents in New Hampshire

Fatal Bus Accidents in New Hampshire

As far as fatal collisions go, there’s a serious discrepancy between the figures for passenger and commercial vehicles in New Hampshire. The state ranks among the ones that have the safest bus transportation options in the US. At the same time, crash fatalities in reached an all-time high in 2013.

During the year, 133 people died on the road, an increase of approximately 20 percent on an annual basis. According to local investigators, some of the most common factors that contribute to fatalities include the consumption of alcohol, speeding and distracted driving.

When it comes to commercial motor carriers and the safety of passengers, this state has strict operational and state DOT regulations. These are in place to ensure adherence to maintenance requirements and other practices aimed at reducing both fatalities and injuries on the road.

Fatal Bus Accident Statistics

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has comprehensive reports about fatal bus crashes. The FMCSA data suggests that ever since 2013, New Hampshire has had a zero-fatality rate pertaining to public and commercial buses:

Buses involved406011
Number of Crashes395911

Even earlier reports, like the 2010 Bureau of Transportation Statistics data, suggest that the bus collision fatalities in New Hampshire have remained at a zero. 2012 is the only exception. During the year, there were two fatal crashes witnessed, which represents 1.4 percent of all the road fatalities.

How These Numbers Compare to Overall State Averages

It’s quite surprising that motor carriers here are such stellar performers, taking in consideration the fact that local traffic fatality numbers that exceed the national averages.

The deaths that occurred over the first six months of 2016 were 61 percent higher than the figures for 2015, the National Safety Council reported. Over this period, 84 people lost their lives in traffic collisions. The most surprising and troublesome fact is that the increase in deaths occurred after the state launched a Driving Toward Zero program.

According to some experts, the fact that the state has one of the highest motorcycle ownership rates in the country could be a contributing factor towards the high mortality. Annual reports from numerous states suggest that apart from passenger cars, motorcycles are responsible for the most deaths and injuries on the road.

Regulatory Framework

Several legal provisions contribute to the safety of bus transportation.

For a start, a clearance lamp requirement is valid for longer buses. The aim of this requirement is to increase visibility and reduce the risk of collisions in the dark. Also, bus drivers are prohibited from driving downhill when the clutch is disengaged (coasting).

NHDOT also has strict requirements pertaining to bus maintenance procedures. The state maintains its right to carry out periodic inspections, to make sure that motor carriers are following compliance guidelines.

Compliance reviews are also conducted by NHDOT every two years. The department will typically take a meticulous look at both pre-and post-trip inspection records that all bus drivers are required to complete.

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