I saw a “scary” headline the other day concerning New York City’s Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA).
MTA buses racked up at least 21,823 crashes, collisions and other mishaps over 31 months beginning in 2015 — an average of 23 per day, The Post has found.
At least 2,520 people — or 2.7 per day — were injured during the time period, according to the MTA. At least 14 people died, including a 25-year-old skateboarder, a 62-year-old pedestrian, a 60-year-old motorist and a 70-year-old with a walker who was mutilated by a hit-and-run bus.
There’s more at the link.
That sounds pretty bad, until you look at a few more statistics. The MTA reports that it has no less than 5,725 buses in service, covering 2,952 route miles. If we take the “scary” statistics above, that means in three years, each bus, on average, would have suffered less than 4 accidents, or just over 1 per year, ranging from the tiniest of scrapes to a major collision with casualties. Given the state of New York City traffic, I’m astonished that it’s that low! Have you seen the number of cars on the city’s roads, and how everyone drives there? The video clip below is pretty typical of rush hour.
The casualty figures, while very sad, even tragic, are also not unreasonable when viewed over that size of fleet. They translate to about 2¼ casualties per bus in three years, or less than one per year. Again, given the traffic volume in New York City, and the number of people living there, that really isn’t as bad as the headline made it sound – particularly when one realizes that a single accident might produce several casualties, whereas dozens of other accidents might produce none at all. The average doesn’t reflect that reality.
It would be wonderful if an organization like the MTA could operate without any accidents, damage or casualties . . . but that would be humanly impossible.