Never for a moment assume that you are safe riding public transportation. This is a statement that is fast becoming gospel to many people who read the paper, scan the web or watch the evening news. Trains, planes and city buses carry large numbers of passengers daily without incident, but when something does go wrong there can be multiple victims with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening.
It doesn’t take much to critically injure a person. Consider that most parents these days won’t let their child ride a bicycle without a helmet for fear that their son or daughter may be hit by a car or simply fall off their bike and hit their head. What is the difference between a child falling several feet to the ground and a bus passenger being thrown into a seat back or other hard object in the event of a traffic accident? Actually, very little.
Especially when it comes to bus riders, with no seatbelts and little warning that a crash is imminent injuries such as cuts and bruises are commonplace, with broken bones, internal injuries and head or neck trauma always a possibility.
In fact, being injured as a passenger on a city or charter bus as a result of a traffic collision or other motor vehicle collision is more common than some people would imagine. As Maryland automobile accident attorneys, we know that it’s very easy for the average person to assume public transportation is safe and worry free. Even as personal injury lawyers, we see that most commuters take for granted that bus drivers and train operators are trained professionals who pride themselves on doing their jobs with a high degree of safety, not to mention the wellbeing of passengers as a primary thought.
Although most drivers of public conveyances are thoughtful and dedicated professionals, even the best cannot predict when and where an accident will occur. This is why, as difficult as it may be sometimes, we as passengers must ultimately put our faith in bus and train operators or not travel on public transportation at all.
One item that recently made this point abundantly clear was a news article that covered a serious Baltimore city bus accident that left a number of riders injured. According to reports, a passenger car failed to yield the right of way to an MTA bus (on the Number 40 route) when the driver reportedly ignored a stop sign at the corner of Chapelgate Rd and Edmondson, causing the bus to collide with the smaller vehicle.
The road accident happened just after 2:30pm on a Wednesday afternoon. Based on police reports, 15 persons onboard the MTA bus sustained injuries as a result of the collision and were subsequently taken to the hospital for medical attention. The bus driver and two other others apparently received more substantial injuries and were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
Of the three who were taken to Shock Trauma, one was the driver of the car who was ejected from her vehicle due to the force of the collision. According to news reports, that crash was the second injury accident involving an MTA transit bus in as many days; the previous wreck happened on the MTA’s Number 23 route near the intersection of Stricker and W. Franklin St. when the city bus hit another passenger vehicle from behind and shoved it into a third vehicle. In that crash, 10 riders, the bus driver and the driver of the car were all taken to the hospital for treatment of their injuries.
Serious MTA bus accident in Baltimore leaves several people injured, ABC2News.com, June 1, 2011
18 hurt as city bus collides with passenger vehicle, BaltimoreSun.com, June 1, 2011