Chicago accident attorneys are becoming increasingly concerned by the number of accidents caused by CTA buses. As most Chicago residents are aware, CTA busdrivers often assume a cavalier attitude towards the surrounding traffic and pedestrians – changing lanes erratically, running red lights, and stopping across intersections. Unfortunately, this has behavior has predictably resulted in an unreasonably high accident rate at the CTA.
In 2009, the CTA averaged a crash for about every thirty-four-thousand bus runs. These accidents include not only more typical vehicle collisions, but buses colliding with pedestrians, bus shelters, light poles, viaducts, and even a house – which was so badly damaged it had to be demolished.
To put this figure in perspective, this is about one accident per day.
Lest you think that this number of accidents is normal, this puts Chicago at the bottom of the barrel in comparable mass-transit systems. The Federal Transit Administration compiled statistics from 2008 to the present on the CTA, as well as the nine other biggest U.S. public bus systems. The CTA had the most accidents of the ten. While our Chicago bus accident lawyers are not surprised, we are disheartened.
There is some good news: although the number of accidents is astounding, the CTA is posting more accident-free bus runs. In fact, from 2008 to 2009, the CTA’s number of accidents per bus run increased by around nine percent. The CTA management attributes this increase to its own efforts, including “renewed” emphasis on defensive driving, and better training, such as the use of bus simulators in its garages.
The CTA also credits another aspect of its driver training for the nine percent improvement: driver retraining. Yet it is not until a driver has been involved in two or more “serious” accidents that drivers are given one-on-one instruction that includes analysis of how the crashes could be avoided.
Perhaps more importantly, even with such a large improvement, the CTA remains woefully behind its peers in this important measure of safety. We urge the victims of bus accidents caused by CTA bus drivers, and defective vehicles, to take action – perhaps if the CTA is called to account for these actions, it will get serious about training, “retraining” and disciplining drivers before a serious problem is at hand. For those pedestrians, drivers and passengers seriously injured or killed in serious motor vehicle or bus accidents, it is critical to contact a top transportation accident attorney as soon as possible.
For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.