Fatal Bus Accidents in Wyoming
The Wyoming Department of Transportation gathers data on all crashes that happen statewide and provides an annual report. The report provides details of crash type, severity and many other categories including fatal crashes on the roadways. In 2016 there was a total of 13,846 reported collisions in Wyoming. 100 accidents were fatal, resulting in 112 fatalities. There were 3,314 injuries reported. The statistics show that fatalities are down slightly from last year, which is lower than the previous eight years.
Weather and road conditions may contribute to fatal collisions in Wyoming. Most fatalities on the roads happened in the winter months of November, December, and January. These months are known for snowy and icy conditions which can cause dangerous pavement. Out of all the vehicle incidents that resulted in deaths in 2016, most of them happened on dry pavement. Icy, snowy or slushy conditions contributed to about 11 deadly accidents.
Light conditions may also play a part in dangerous bus accidents. Most deadly incidents occurred during daylight hours. 23 crashes occurred on dark, unlit roads. About eight crashes happened at dusk or dawn, times of the day when lighting conditions can be tricky.
Driver Contributing Factors
Factors that affect the driver could cause or contribute to fatalities. Distracted driving is a problem that could be more likely to affect bus drivers, especially those who travel across the country. Fatigue or drowsy driving impacts drivers who have not gotten enough rest. Tour bus or cross-country drivers more often suffer from drowsy driving. Drivers should only drive the length of time that is allowed and should always pull over to rest when tired. On long trips, companies should provide multiple drivers.
Some of the most commonly reported contributing factors are speeding, failure to yield, failure to obey a traffic signal, improper lane use, tailgating and improperly backing up. Some drivers were cited for violations. Mechanical issues can also cause accidents to occur. Brake and tire problems are some of the most reported mechanical failures that lead to crashes. More than one factor could be reported for a single incident, and some incidents do not indicate any factors.
Bus Accident Trends
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains a national Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) that provides data on fatal crashes across the country. The statistics show that injuries caused by bus or large truck crashes were declining through 2009. Between 2009 and 2015, the latest date of the report, there was a 33 percent increase in severe crashes. Of the fatal bus accidents, intercity buses made up 13 percent and transit buses accounted for 33 percent. About 41 percent were school buses. In 2015 the number of fatal crashes that involved buses increased 11 percent over 2014. The number of deadly accidents in 2014 was 236 and rose to 261 in 2015. There are more buses and trucks on the road than previous years. The number of miles traveled by buses has also increased. The vehicle miles traveled (VMT) went up by 1.4 percent in 2015 over the prior year.