NEW YORK – The nation saw a record spike in the number of fatal car crashes last year and statistics show accidents are on the rise, despite safety improvements to both vehicles and infrastructure.
Many safety advocates attribute the rise to an increase in drivers sharing the road and better public transportation could drastically reduce the number of traffic collisions – and injuries.
A new study conducted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that people who use public transit are 90 percent less likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. That makes traveling by bus or rail roughly 10 times safer per mile than commuting by car or truck.
A Queens bus accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says using public transit may be a great option for some New Yorkers but it comes with its own risks.
“No mode of travel is risk free in Queens,” bus accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Each year, thousands of people are injured while riding the bus or train; it may be statistically safer than driving but these accidents can often be catastrophic when they do occur.”
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about 38,000 people were injured in bus crashes in 2013. The year saw more injuries on buses than any of the previous 25 years. At the same time, more than 35,000 drivers were killed in motor vehicle collisions last year, a record 7.2 percent increase from 2014.
Many of those traffic collisions were attributed to distracted driving. Safety advocates and supporters of public transportation say taking the bus or train allows passengers to multitask without changing their safety risk.
The National Transportation Safety Board recently said that public transit could help keep high risk drivers, like teens, away from the driver’s seat. Taking the bus or train also allows the passenger to sleep and avoid the always-dangerous DWI.
Public transportation sounds like a safe alternative to driving but Queens bus accident lawyers said the nation’s tax-payer funded transit systems are falling behind.
“There’s an estimated $86 billion backlog of repairs that need to be made to various public transit systems across America,” Barnes said. “Trains and buses aren’t being maintained as much as they should be and railroads and bus lanes are falling apart. We continue to find safety oversights and technical issues when we investigate an accident.”
The APTA study acknowledges some of these hurdles, which are mostly financial obstacles. However, statistics show that when there are fewer vehicles on the road, there is a strong correlation to fewer accidents and a well-developed public transit system would certainly remove many cars and trucks from already congested roads and highways.
The Queens bus accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have helped many New Yorkers get the maximum compensation after a public transit crash. If you’ve been injured while on a bus or train, contact Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.