Severity of passenger injuries on public buses: A comparative analysis of collision injuries and non-collision injuries

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - asia, planning - safety/accidents


Public bus, Injury severities, Collision injuries, Non-collision injuries, Random parameters


Introduction: Although public buses have been demonstrated as a relatively safe mode of transport, the number of injuries to public bus passengers is far from negligible. Existing studies of public bus safety have focused primarily on injuries caused by collisions. Surprisingly, limited effort has been devoted to identifying factors that increase the severity of passenger injuries in non-collision incidents. Method: Our study therefore investigated the injury risk of public bus passengers involved in collision incidents and non-collision incidents comparatively, based on a police-reported dataset of 17,383 passengers injured on franchised public buses over a 10-year period in Hong Kong. A random parameters logistic model was established to estimate the likelihood of fatal and severe injuries to passengers as a function of various factors. Results: Our results indicated substantial inconsistences in the effects of risk factors between models of non-collision injuries and collision injuries. The severity of passenger injuries tended to increase significantly when non-collision incidents occurred due to excessive speed of bus drivers, on double-decker buses, in less urbanized areas, in winter, in heavy rains, during daytime, and at night without street lighting. Elderly female passengers were also found more likely to be fatally or severely injured in non-collision incidents if they lost their balance while boarding, alighting from, or standing on a bus. In comparison, the following factors were associated with a greater likelihood of fatal or severe injuries in collision incidents: elderly female passengers, standing passengers who lost balance, buses out of driver control, double-decker buses, collisions with vehicles or objects, and less urbanized areas. Practical Applications: Based on our comparative analysis, more targeted countermeasures, namely “4E” (engineering, enforcement, emergency, and education) and “3A” (awareness, appreciation, and assistance), were recommended to mitigate collision injuries and non-collision injuries to public bus passengers, respectively.


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


Journal of Safety Research Home Page: