Early in the morning of August 1, 2016, two people were tragically killed and several others were injured when a Hampton Inn shuttle bus was involved in a rear end crash while transporting passengers from Logan Airport. A Subaru Legacy rear ended the bus as it was exiting the airport and merging onto Route 1A North. The accident and the force of the collision resulted in two of the passengers being ejected from the bus and suffering fatal injuries.
The Massachusetts State Police has not yet revealed whether or not the deceased and injured passengers were belted in the bus at the time of the accident or how it was that the passengers were ejected from the vehicle. The details of this accident, however, illustrate the dangers posed by shuttle buses, buses and passenger vans, which all too often are not designed with the same safety features found in every day vehicles. From windows that break upon impact allowing for the ejection of passengers to higher propensity for rollovers to safety belts that do not incorporate shoulder harnesses or impact-absorbing headrests, these vehicles are generally more dangerous and uncrashworthy even though they are used to transport tens of millions of people on U.S. roads every day. Most people who board a shuttle bus, such as a hotel courtesy shuttle, do not even stop to think why it is that the buses do not have safety belts or shoulder harnesses. Such vehicles should be held to the same safety standards as all other cars on the road, or arguably even higher standards considering the number of people that rely on them for transportation.
One only needs to do a quick online search to see how often accidents such as the one in Boston turn fatal or leave occupants with catastrophic injuries. Unfortunately, these car accidents will continue to produce tragic results unless safety improvements to these vehicles are implemented.