CTA bus accidents occurring once a day on average

Somewhere in the metro area, a Chicago Transit Authority bus accident happened today. And yesterday. And tomorrow. In fact, the system is averaging an accident a day — more than nine of the other largest bus systems in the United States, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Our Chicago injury lawyers have often reported on the large number of CTA bus accidents occurring in and around the Chicago area. Just last week we reported that a Chicago bus accident sent nine people to the hospital. We are also about to file a lawsuit on behalf of a pedestrian that was struck in a crosswalk by a CTA bus.

Now, the Federal Transit Administration reports that accidents are occurring about one per day, although drivers are logging more miles between accidents. On average, an accident occurred for every 34,566 trips, an improvement of about 9 percent over 2008. The CTA said it is not satisfied with the accident tally, but attributed the improvement to a focus on defensive-driving and the presence of new technology, including 18 bus simulators deployed at CTA garages.

Drivers must be recertified every two years and are required to attend a retraining course if they are involved in accidents or are ticketed for moving violations. Despite those efforts, the CTA has been in the middle of the pack in collision rates among large bus companies.

Last year there were 271 reportable collisions involving CTA buses. In 2008, a total of 303 reportable collisions were reported. A reportable collision is defined as one resulting in $25,000 or more in property damage or a crash that sends one or more people to the hospital. Thus, safety advocates report that many more collisions go unreported.

A total of 521 people were injured in accidents last year, including 270 bus passengers, 122 bus drivers, 90 occupants of other vehicles, 29 pedestrians and 10 cyclists.

The Chicagoist article is available here.

The CBS 2 report is available here.

If you have been injured in an accident, Abels & Annes offers free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.