Most are aware of the accident of a minibus that actor/comedian Tracy Morgan was on, with his friend, James McNair who died in that crash. We give our condolences to all those who have suffered as result of this terrible incident. Recent reports indicate that it was a large transport truck that rammed the minibus from behind and the driver of the truck appears to be the responsible party. Given the nature of the accident, it could very well be that the minibus itself may have actually helped saving additional lives in the wreck.

Even a minibus is more robust than most passenger cars and there are additional safety design features in most buses because they carry larger amounts of people generally. Certainly, these details can be argued. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that approximately a tenth of one percent (0.1%) of highway deaths occur on buses. Cars, motorcycles and trucks have much higher rates. In Fact, only commercial airline travel (I.e. not general/private aircraft) has a lower fatality rate per passenger mile.

The majority of fatalities in accidents involving buses are the bus drivers rather than the passengers. Of course, while the rates of death and injury in school buses are comparatively low, we could always benefit from additional safety measures with school transport. Some would argue against the expense and practicality of seat belts in school buses. Most States now have strict laws about seat belts in automobiles and their use. If you can make the laws work passenger cars, seems like it should ultimately catch on in school buses.

Aside from from ever progressive safety measures in the design and manufacture of buses, we need to make sure that the drivers are trained well and not overworked. We hear the result of airline controllers, pilots, ship captains, and truck drivers exceeding minimum safety requirements with the resultant dire consequences. If we can a save a few bus drivers, we will save passengers as well.