After the introduction of tightened schedules and a new type of bus, there has been a significant increase in the number of bus-pedestrian incidents, the majority of which occur when the bus makes a left hand turn, thereby creating a particularly large blind spot.
Most recently, in December of 2015, 94-year-old Jacqueline Morrison was hit and killed by a King County Metro bus while in a crosswalk.
In seven out of eight reported collisions where a bus hit a pedestrian while making a left turn, the bus was an Orion model which “have an 8-inch wide post of the left side of the windshield […] that creates a blind spot.”
Transit systems nationally are experiencing this potentially fatal issue, and many similar solutions are being implemented in an effort to lower the uptick of bus-pedestrian collisions. Various agencies and transit systems are introducing additional training and classes geared toward pedestrian awareness. Washington State transit agencies have also begun equipping buses with dashboard alarms that flash when people enter into a driver’s blind spot.
This post references the following articles, all of which can be read for additional information on bus-pedestrian collisions: