Your risk of getting in a bus accident may be about to go up.
A study by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at USF found the influx of summer tourists into Hillsborough and Pinellas counties may also increase your risk of colliding with a transit bus.
It is possible the spike in collisions in the summer months may be due in part to tourists who are not as familiar with the roads as local residents, the report said. Many of the crashes occur at night, the report said.
HILLSBOROUGH BUS CRASH FACTS:
- HART's 2009-2013 rear-ended collision rate was the second highest in the state behind PCPT.
- Its side collision rate was slightly above the statewide rate.
- Between 2009 and 2013, HART reported 76 rear-ended collisions and 23 side collisions.
PINELLAS BUS CRASH FACTS:
- PSTA’s 2009-2013 rear-ended collision rate exceeded the statewide average.
- Its side collision rate was the highest in the state.
- Side collisions steadily increased from 2009 to 2013. Many of these are due to vehicles cutting in front of buses particularly at intersections. Narrow streets may also play a role in some of the side swipes.
- Between 2009 and 2013, most of PSTA collisions (30%) occurred in the summer months. This may be due in part to beach tourists.
PSTA tells ABC Action News they are now better tracking bus crash data, which they say is going to be able to allow them to narrow down exact causes of accidents. Most importantly, they have the data we need to recommend and implement change, a PSTA spokesperson said.
HART said the newest buses in the fleet have brighter, LED lighting that makes buses more visible at night. Some buses also now have reflective tape.