Ohio Bus Accident Involving 52 People Leads to Examination of Bus Safety

An Ohio bus accident causing a bus to over turn in September on I-75 in Butler County, injuring 38 people including the driver has wondering about bus safety.

Police officials have determined what caused an Ohio bus accident that injured 38 people near Cincinnati. Officials are stating the bus driver, Dwayne Garrett, was drinking coffee when a sudden coughing fit struck him. He choked on the coffee, which caused the bus to swerve and overturn. Officials say Garrett may face legal charges for the Ohio bus accident [https://www.whiotv.com/news/news/local/greyhound-bus-driver-i-75-crash-had-medical-condit/nZ5P6/ September 2013].

This accident is just one of the many Ohio bus accidents that occur each year. The most tragic accident in recent history occurred in Liberty Twp., when high school senior Sodany April was killed when hit by a bus while walking to school in March, 2011. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, however, fatal bus crashes are rare in Ohio.

Ohio Bus Accident Statistics

Ohio bus accidents have decreased every year since 2006. In 2010, Ohio saw 1,579 school bus crashes and in 2011 the Ohio Department of Public Safety reported 2,810 injuries related to bus accidents in Ohio (most were minor and did not require hospitalization). There were 6 fatalities related to school bus crashes in 2011 [https://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2011CrashFacts.pdf January 2012].

National Bus Accident Statistics

Across the nation, there are thousands of bus crashes each year. Thankfully, bus crashes are fewer than ever. According to data collected by the Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Transportation, there were 11,000 bus crashes in the United States with injuries in 2008, down from 15,000 in 1988 [https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/ltbcf2008/tbl21.htm January 2009]. In 2010, there were 249 fatalities from bus accidents and 27,000 people injured in bus crashes [https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/report/LTCC_Report_LargeTruckandBusCrashFacts2010.pdf August 2012].

Causes of bus crashes

Just like any other auto accident, a bus crash can be caused by a variety of factors. Busses are large and difficult to manage on the road. This makes them susceptible to overturning, sliding on ice, and other poor weather conditions. Ohio bus accidents are the result of many factors, including:

  • Improper maintenance
  • Driver negligence
  • Driver fatigue
  • Lack of driver training
  • Lack of bus driving experience
  • Overloaded busses
  • Defective safety equipment
  • Unsafe roads
  • Driver distractions
  • Medical conditions

Ohio bus safety improvements

Every year, safety officials work to make busses safer for everyone involved. Although most busses still do not contain seatbelts, many districts and countries across Ohio are implementing other safety measures to increase safety. School districts in Beavercreek, Cedar Cliff and Sugarcreek trained with local fire and police departments to improve driving and bus safety. Many busses are also employing technology-based safety measures. Kettering City Schools has added cameras and DVR equipment to record the activity of the bus and surrounding areas. Some busses have embedded GPS systems that allow traffic officials to monitor the busses to maximize safety. [https://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/news/local/school-bus-crashes-on-the-rise-across-region-1/nMtQg/ August 2011].