The National Academies

TCRP A-28 [Completed]

Guidebook for Mitigating Fixed-Route Bus-and-Pedestrian Collisions

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Research Agency: SAIC
Effective Date: 11/2/2005
Completion Date: 5/2/2007


Bus-and-pedestrian collisions often cause serious injury or death to pedestrians. In addition, these collisions are bad for the driver, the passengers on the bus, the transit system, and the community as a whole. Even a highly experienced bus driver, with a stellar performance record, can be involved in a collision with a pedestrian and suffer because of the stress of the event. The reputation of a public transportation system can be hurt by bus-and-pedestrian collisions, despite the infrequency of such events and regardless of the circumstances. Collisions with pedestrians may give rise to expensive litigation and large settlements that can have sizable financial implications for public transportation systems.

Having a better understanding of bus-and-pedestrian collisions, including why they occur, will help public transportation systems and their communities develop more effective strategies and practices to reduce the frequency and severity of these events. Are bus-and-pedestrian collisions more likely to occur at night or in bad weather when driving conditions are more difficult? To what extent do traffic conditions, bus-stop design and location, obstructions to bus driver visibility, driver errors, or pedestrian carelessness contribute to bus-and-pedestrian collisions? Answers to these and many related questions would be very useful to public transportation systems, traffic engineers, vehicle manufacturers, and the general public.

A variety of strategies, including those listed below, have been implemented by public transportation systems and their communities to improve pedestrian safety and to mitigate the frequency and severity of bus-and-pedestrian collisions.
  • Roadway design features including speed restrictions, traffic control devices, pedestrian signals and signage, roadway markings/crosswalks, lighting, and turn lanes.
  • Vehicle operator training including training that addresses factors that may increase or reduce collisions, especially in the roadway and at intersections.
  • Improved technology including warning lights, alarms, and other forms of technology to prevent bus-and-pedestrian collisions.
  • Public service announcements including posters and flyers to improve safety awareness by transit passengers and pedestrians. Such items may be placed in visible locations on transit buses and at popular pedestrian gathering areas in bus stops and shelters.

Research is needed to gather information on these and other strategies and practices that are currently being used and to recommend those that are most effective.


The objective of this project is to develop a guidebook that identifies strategies to assist public transportation systems and their communities to mitigate the frequency and severity of collisions between pedestrians and fixed-route buses in the United States.


The project is completed and was published in the TCRP report series as TCRP Report 125

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