In many ways, public transit systems help the communities that they serve. They provide low-cost transportation for working-class individuals and help reduce traffic congestion. They serve as a means of supporting tourism by allowing visitors to get around metropolitan areas without renting a vehicle. They can help businesses connect with workers by making jobs more accessible to those living in affordable communities.
However, there is a shadow side to all the benefits that buses and other forms of transit support. These huge vehicles can sometimes cause devastating motor vehicle collisions.
Buses fare better in collisions than smaller vehicles do
Public transit collisions are serious concerns for those traveling in smaller, four-wheeled passenger vehicles. Although crashes occur frequently and collisions with public transit vehicles are relatively rare, they are still a noteworthy safety risk.
When looking at crash data from the National Safety Council, it becomes clear that people are far less likely to die when they travel via commercial airlines, on passenger trains or on buses when compared with individual passenger vehicles. Even when a bus causes a crash, the occupants are less likely than those in the smaller vehicles involved to suffer severe injuries. Despite the lack of safety restraints in most buses, occupants will likely avoid severe injury in most crashes.
Those in smaller vehicles are unlikely to be as lucky. Given how big buses are and how their massive weight leads to additional momentum, they can sometimes cause catastrophic collisions. Smaller vehicles can suffer complete destruction, and the occupants may incur life-altering or fatal injuries as well.
There may be commercial insurance for those affected
Many drivers carry as little insurance as they can while still complying with state law. If they cause a crash, the people affected may not have enough coverage to pay for all of their losses.
If there is any upside to a collision involving public transit, it is that commercial insurance policies are typically much more significant than the individual coverage carried by drivers who own their own vehicles. Even if someone faces months away from work and substantial medical expenses, the insurance coverage available to them may be enough to fully reimburse them for the losses they suffered.
Understanding your rights after a collision caused by a bus can help you cover the costs created by that potentially serious crash. Don’t be afraid to seek professional guidance if you need it.