An experienced rear-end accident lawyer knows rear-end crashes are one of the most common of all motor vehicle collisions on the roads within Baltimore, Ellicott City, Clarksville and surrounding areas. While many rear-end crashes involve two passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles including buses can also become involved in collisions. Buses can strike front vehicles, especially because buses tend to have a lot of momentum and a long stopping distance as a result of their vehicle size. Buses can also be hit in the rear, which can lead to injured passengers but is especially dangerous for vehicle occupants.
The National Center for Transportation Research undertook a study to determine why buses are rear-ended. The research took a close look at bus crashes in particular geographic areas between 2008 and 2012. The research found that a total of 38.3 percent of crashes involving buses were classified as rear-end collisions. The data also demonstrated some factors that made the risk of a bus getting rear-ended significantly greater.
Why Do Buses Become Involved in Rear-End Accidents?
A number of different factors affected the likelihood a bus would be rear-ended. Some factors identified by the National Center for Transportation Research included:
- The type of roadway. Rear-end bus accidents were most likely to happen on six-lane divided roadways. More accidents happened on six lane roads than on two, four, or eight lane roads. The reason this may be the case is that many six lane roads have right turn queues. When there is a right turn queue, it is often impossible for a bus stop to be a near-side bus stop. Instead, the stop will usually need to be mid-block or on the far side. Bus stops located either on the far side or mid block are more likely to be locations where buses are rear-ended.
- The bus stop location. When a bus stop is located within a lane of traffic, the risk of a rear-end accident was much greater than if the stop was set apart in a bus bay. In fact, just one collision happened in a bus buy and in that crash the driver rear-ended the bus as part of an effort to avoid becoming involved in another crash. The researchers described a bus that is parked at a stop in a lane of traffic as a "sitting duck," both because of its location in a line of traffic and because of the lack of escape routes for the bus in cases where a car is about to hit its rear.
- The speed of the drivers. When drivers in surrounding vehicles were traveling at faster speeds, the risk of a driver rear-ending a bus was increased.
Understanding why drivers rear-end buses is important to try to prevent crashes. If a driver strikes the back of a bus, passengers may sustain injuries in the resulting crash. In some cases, the bus company may also be to blame if the company was negligent. An attorney can help determine who is liable for bus accident losses after a rear-end crash.
Accident lawyers in Baltimore, MD can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit www.slocumblaw.com. Serving Baltimore, Ellicott City, Clarksville and surrounding areas.