Litteraturöversikt Skadehändelser relaterade till busstrafik: Buss-OLA - en trafiksäker bussfärd

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Pontus Albertsson
Ulf Björnstig
Torbjörn Falkmer
Thomas Turbell

The aim of this literature review was to describe the pattern of injuries and fatalities related to bus traffic. Furthermore, the aim was to identify possible future measurements for improvement of passive safety in buses. Bus crashes were presented in international literature virtually in as many ways as there were articles on the topic. Hence, the authors used the term bus incidents, in order to cover all types of injuries related to bus traffic. In this review only M2 and M3 buses, i.e. buses over 3.5 tonnes were included. In the vast majority of OECD countries, less than 1 % of the vehicle fleet was constituted of buses. Bus passenger's average person kilometres represented 10 % of the total road vehicle person kilometres annually.

The number of fatalities and injured in bus incidents have been stable recent years in EU. The fatality risk is ten times lower for bus passengers compared with car occupants. Of all traffic fatalities, bus fatalities represented 0.3-0.5 %. The most frequent injury localisations from all types of bus crashes were lower limb (35 %), upper limb (33 %) and head/face (28 %). Rollovers occurred in almost all cases of severe crashes. Projection, total ejection, partial ejection, intrusion and smoke inhalation were the main injury mechanism. Three major injury groups in severe bus crashes were thoracic injuries, massive injuries and pelvic fractures.

Heavy wind seemed to be capable of affecting the bus dynamics, particularly on highly built buses (e.g. as high as 4.3 meters). Unprotected road users were hit by buses in about 1/3 of all cases in Sweden. Side impact was most common for local buses (38 %). Boarding and alighting were contributing to injuries in about 1/3 of all cases. If the coach has more than one section it seems that the upper section is more exposed to risk for injuries than the lower section.

Safety belts can improve the passive safety in buses. The 2-point belt prevents passenger ejection but in frontal crashes the jack knife effect could cause head and thoracic injuries. However, the 3- point belt provides the best restraint in rollovers and frontal crashes, as it keeps the passenger remained seated.

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