It seems like every week we’re hearing about another devastating accident involving public transit. Early this month, a New Jersey Transit bus struck a man near Summit train station, causing injuries that left him in critical condition. Another accident a few days later left one man dead when he was struck by a bus. And a few days after that, a New Jersey Transit bus was involved in a six-car accident that left four people injured.
Because many New Jersey and New York residents rely on mass transit as their only way of traveling, it stands to reason that residents of these two states are more likely to suffer injuries in a bus accident.
New Jersey Lawmakers Want to Hear from Commuters
Lawmakers are engaged in a series of four hearings regarding the safety of New Jersey Transit. According to state Sen. Robert Gordon (D-Bergen), New Jersey Transit has the worst safety record in the country when compared to peer organizations. These hearings are meant to figure out the root causes of the terrible safety rating of NJ mass transit.
While there are certain situations that can lead to completely unpredictable bus accidents, there are plenty of things you can do to help protect yourself from personal injury on public transit. Here are a few bus safety tips:
- Always be aware of moving traffic when entering or exiting a bus.
- Avoid distractions, such as listening to music through headphones or playing games on your phone. Headphones can make it difficult to hear important safety information from your driver and to hear other surrounding vehicles when boarding and disembarking the bus.
- Don’t stand too close to the road when preparing to enter a bus.
- Identify all emergency exits and equipment when you board the bus.
- If an accident does occur, remain as calm as you can. Proceed in an orderly fashion to exit the bus if necessary, and immediately seek medical attention. Some bus accident injuries, like concussions, are not always apparent.
- Stay near populated, well-lit areas when waiting for the bus.
- During off hours, ride as close to the bus driver as possible. The driver can radio dispatch for assistance if anything happens during those hours.
- If you are traveling with children, keep an eye on them at all times.