Browse Publications Technical Papers 2024-26-0004

Safer Buses for Passengers and Pedestrians: Crashes and Injury Analyses from Indian and German In-Depth Data 2024-26-0004

Bus transport is an important element in a sustainable transport strategy. The objective of this study is to understand crashes and injuries involving buses, suggest potential passive-safety interventions, estimate their effectiveness, and compare their effectiveness between Germany and India. Descriptive analysis of crash data from the German In-depth Accident Study (GIDAS) and the Road Accident Sampling System India (RASSI) database was performed in two parts: First, bus passengers and their injuries were analyzed and second, pedestrian injuries in bus-to-pedestrian crashes were analyzed. Lastly, interventions were suggested, and their effectiveness was estimated. Analysis of bus passengers showed that most moderate-to-critical injuries in the GIDAS data were to the head caused by interior bus components. In the RASSI data, head injuries were also frequent, often due to bus interior contact, but also due to ejection and impact to the ground or bus exterior. As many as 31% of all moderate-to-critical injuries in RASSI occurred due to ejection, none in the GIDAS data. Negligible seatbelt usage in the GIDAS data and non-existent use in RASSI demands some explanation. In bus-to-pedestrian crashes, impacts to the front of the bus were the most frequent scenario in both countries. Head injuries were frequent in both GIDAS and RASSI, predominantly due to an impact with the bus front or the ground. To mitigate these injuries, the suggested interventions are seatbelts, pedestrian airbags, and pedestrian underrun protection. These interventions were estimated to annually save up to 175 injured pedestrians and 968 injured bus occupants in Germany, and 6,682 injured pedestrians and 36,271 injured bus occupants in India. To conclude, while the need for better data and more rigorous intervention analysis in future work are discussed, the highlighted safety issues and potential interventions can guide discussion and action plans for safer buses.


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