Risk factors affecting fatal bus accident severity: Their impact on different types of bus drivers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - north america, planning - safety/accidents


Bus fatal accident, Risk factors, Accident severity, Cluster analysis, Ordered logistic model


While the bus is generally considered to be a relatively safe means of transportation, the property losses and casualties caused by bus accidents, especially fatal ones, are far from negligible. The reasons for a driver to incur fatalities are different in each case, and it is essential to discover the underlying risk factors of bus fatality severity for different types of drivers in order to improve bus safety.

The current study investigates the underlying risk factors of fatal bus accident severity to different types of drivers in the U.S. by estimating an ordered logistic model. Data for the analysis are retrieved from the Buses Involved in Fatal Accidents (BIFA) database from the USA for the years 2006–2010. Accidents are divided into three levels by counting their equivalent fatalities, and the drivers are classified into three clusters by the K-means cluster analysis.

The analysis shows that some risk factors have the same impact on different types of drivers, they are: (a) season; (b) day of week; (c) time period; (d) number of vehicles involved; (e) land use; (f) manner of collision; (g) speed limit; (h) snow or ice surface condition; (i) school bus; (j) bus type and seating capacity; (k) driver's age; (l) driver's gender; (m) risky behaviors; and (n) restraint system. Results also show that some risk factors only have impact on the “young and elder drivers with history of traffic violations”, they are: (a) section type; (b) number of lanes per direction; (c) roadway profile; (d) wet road surface; and (e) cyclist–bus accident. Notably, history of traffic violations has different impact on different types of bus drivers.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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