The Transportation Safety Analysis Division at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) initiated the Buses Involved in Fatal Accidents (BIFA) project in 2000 to collect more detailed information about buses involved in fatal crashes. The BIFA project is supported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Previous work using BIFA data showed significant differences between different bus operations in terms of crash types, when and where the crashes occurred, the incidence of bus driver error, and previous driver record of the drivers.
Using BIFA data for 1999-2005, the present study focuses on factors associated with driver errors in fatal bus crashes involving different bus operator types. Five different carrier types are identified: School,transit, intercity, charter/tour, and “other” bus operators. There are substantial differences between these carrier types that are reflected in rates of bus driver errors in crashes and in the previous driving record of the bus drivers.
Many factors are identified that are associated with driver error, including bus operation type, age, sex, hours driving, trip type, method of compensation, and previous driving record. A logistic regression model was used to model the probability of driver error. Bus operation type, previous violations, and previous crashes were significant parameters in the model. The other factors were not significant.