Are bus company regulations associated with crash risk? Findings from a retrospective survey in four Chinese cities

Academic Article


  • Bus crashes are common in urban China, and bus company regulations are hypothesized to be related to bus crash risk. We conducted a retrospective survey to examine the association in four large Chinese cities (Changsha, Shenzhen, Fuzhou, and Wuhan). Four types of bus crashes were considered: (a) passengers injured while riding the bus; (b) bus colliding with or scraping other motor vehicles; (c) bus colliding with non-motorized vehicles or pedestrians; and (d) bus damaging public facilities. Based on regulations governing the drivers’ work, complete round trips per day, and their paid salary, three categories of companies were studied: type A: ≥14 h worked/day, ≥6 round trips/day, and >70% of salary based on performance; type B: 8–13 h/day, 4 or 5 round trips/day, and 36–70% of salary; and type C: <36% of salary and no other specified requirements. Of the 926 respondents, 20.7% reported one or more crashes or related risk events in the past month. Drivers from the three types of companies reported crash incidence rates of 31.9%, 8.8%, and 6.0%, respectively, in the past month. Type A crash rates were significantly higher than type C after controlling for relevant covariates (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 7.1, 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.74–13.47). We conclude that more stringent bus company regulations, which mandate drivers to work long hours and obtain salary based on job performance in meeting demanding metrics, are associated with elevated bus-related crash risks. Local governments in China should regulate bus companies to ensure drivers work reasonable hours and are paid based on the quality of their work (e.g., safety).
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wu X; Zhang H; Xiao W; Ning P; Schwebel DC; Hu G
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 8