Commercial Transportation Accidents: Passengers on Buses, Trains and Airplanes

Commercial transportation accidents involving buses, trains and planes are much less frequent than auto and motorcycle accidents, but frequently end with severe injuries and fatalities. 

Bus Accidents

You don’t expect to be involved in an accident when you get on a bus.  The number of bus accidents recorded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been increasing, placing passengers at risk of injury or death when they take a trip.  Bus safety issues are even more pressing because with the recession and rising gas prices, there has been an increase in the number of people who choose to travel by bus.  That means an increased number of people at risk when these buses are involved in auto accidents.

Many accidents occur because of a defect in the components of the bus, which can cause malfunctioning.  In other cases, accidents are caused because of driver error, driver negligence, or because of dangerous roadways.

Train Accidents

Most people assume that train travel is much safer than auto travel, and they would be right.  After all, there are fewer train accidents reported every year.  However, these accidents are very common and very often involve cars and other vehicles that have been part of the tracks.

In some cases, such vehicles are parked on railroad tracks accidentally, and in other cases, like the 2005 Glendale Metrolink crash, vehicles are intentionally parked on the tracks.  In the Glendale accident, an SUV had been abandoned on the track, causing a deadly accident that killed 11 people.

California, in fact, has been the scene of some horrific train disasters.  In 2008, the Metrolink disaster killed 25 people, when a commuter plane crashed head-on into a freight train heading towards it on the same track.

Plane Crashes

Air travel is much safer in 2012, then it used to be even a few years ago.  The number of plane crashes has been declining, and large commercial airliner crashes are much less frequent than they used to be.

However, aviation safety continues to be an important and pressing transportation safety issue, because these crashes almost always end in all passengers of the plane being killed instantly.  Few plane crashes actually leave survivors.

Many important issues continue to plague the aviation industry, including the incidence of runway incursions, and an increasing number of crashes and near miss incidents involving fatigued and distracted pilots.