High-deck buses that have a higher center of gravity traveling at an excessive speed have a higher likelihood of causing serious and fatal accidents when drivers lose control of the vehicle. In addition, drivers who suffer from fatigue in long-distance driving increase the likelihood of serious accident. This paper examines the effects of risk factors contributing to severe crashes associated with high-deck buses used for long-distance driving on freeways. An ordered logit and latent class models are used to examine significant factors on the severity of injuries in crashes related to high-deck buses. Driver fatigue, drivers or passengers not wearing a seat belt, reckless driving, drunk driving, crashes occurred between midnight and dawn, and crashes occurred at interchange ramps were found to significantly affect the severity of injuries in crashes involving high-deck buses. Safety policies to prevent severe injuries in crashes involving high deck buses used for long-distance runs on freeways include: (1) restricting drivers from exceeding the limit of daily driving hours and mandating sufficient rest breaks; (2) installing an automatic sleep-warning device in the vehicle; (3) drivers with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome or sleep disorders should be tested and treated before they are allowed to perform long hours of driving tasks; (4) educating the public or even amending the seatbelt legislation to require all passengers to wear a seat belt and thus reduce the chance of ejection from a high-deck bus and prevent serious injuries in a crash while traveling at a higher speed on freeways.
Keywords: Crashes; Freeway; High-deck bus; Injury severity.
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