Bus accidents rise in December
An elderly San Francisco woman was taken to the hospital after a bus accident Monday evening
Witnesses claim the 60-year-old victim was running across the street as the Muni Bus approached, and was pulled underneath the vehicle after being struck. Firefighters and bystanders worked together in removing the woman from underneath the bus. The SF Fire Department warned citizens over social media to keep clear of the Market and 3rd Streets intersection while the rescue was in progress.
After the victim was removed from beneath the bus, she was immediately transported to SF General Hospital for emergency care. She suffered “significant leg injuries” according to SFMTA officials.
The busy intersection was closed for over three hours as the San Francisco Police Department cordoned off the accident for investigation. Other buses were forced to hold their service, and many passengers exited their buses to walk to their destinations. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
This December 19 incident is not the first time a bus accident has happened in the Bay Area, nor is it the only bus accident to have occurred this month. On December 7 a 25-year-old man impacted with a Muni bus and went down. He was then struck by the rear of the bus. He was treated at a hospital for leg injuries. Five days later, a paratransit bus struck and killed a person in a wheelchair.
Bus accident safety an ongoing concern
Millions of passengers safely reach their destinations by bus in the U.S. each year. Even in large cities like San Francisco, where a bus accident can seem like part of regular conversation, most people use public transit without incident.
Unfortunately, a safe bus ride or walk down the street is not guaranteed. Large profile accidents ensure that the safe operation of all large passenger buses continues to be an important issue. The National Transportation Safety Board lobbies for improving the safety of buses, and in 2011, President Obama signed into law the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act. The act is designed to push bus manufacturers and operators into using standardized safety features. The hope is that this will contribute to limiting injuries and deaths in the event of an accident.
Technology continues to innovate and improve, and this is becoming apparent even in our public transit system. Improved sensors on cars can activate brakes if an obstacle or person is dangerously close; this technology may also see use on a passenger bus. Driverless vehicles were once the product of science fiction, but now are being tested on our roads as science fact. Buses are no exception to this; in Australia driverless buses are being slowly adopted for use.
No matter how much technology improves, it is not perfect. There will be accidents because no system or person is flawless. You’ll want a personal injury attorney at your side if an accident does happen, even if there was only a program behind the wheel of your tour bus.