Public Transportation while traveling???

Carter's Mommy

New member
I'm big on ERF'ing, harnessing, proper car seat installation, etc...thanks to all the great help on this forum! We're getting ready to take a family vacation to Mexico and I can either:

A. Not bring the car seats and take the bus (it's pretty cheap) from the airport to hotel and back to airport (possibly take the bus or ferry once during the week but should be able to avoid cabs completely w/ no car seats).

This seems to be the obvious answer to everyone I talk to but originally hadn't entered my mind as even being an option. I was thinking of the following:

B. Buy a gogo kidz travelmate ($80) for DS BLVD and check DD seat (in a bag and padded). Then rent a car for the week ($300) and pay for parking ($80). We'd have the car for our 1 excursion we'll be taking and it will otherwise be sitting in a parking garage while we're at the beach and walking around.

Option B is obviously more expensive and has the added hassle of toting car seats around as well as lugging the kids and all the stuff. Is public transportation safe? Should I at least give a little more consideration to option A?

Please share your opinions! We're leaving this weekend and I need to get my plans sorted out one way or the other. Of course, $ is no option when it comes to the safety and well being of my children, but it's also not something I have extra of to use unnecessarily. So, is it necessary to rent a car so the kids can be properly buckled in?

Thanks!
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Even in Mexico, public transportation is markedly safer than driving in a car, last I'd heard. :) I wouldn't hesitate to do it if it would be a lot of extra hassle and expense-- as long as you were sure the bus would be safe and go where you need to when you need to.
 

InternationalMama

New member
As long as the bus is an actual bus designed for public transportation and not just a 15 passenger van or something of this sort, I would absolutely just take the bus and leave the carseat and car out of it. As Ketchupqueen said, public transportation is safer than driving your own car.
 

Carter's Mommy

New member
why is public transportation safer? even if your LO is not in a car seat??? i thought LO.s had to be restrained when in a moving vehicle.
I think public transportation is safer than driving in a car b/c statistically speaking the chance of accident is very rare. I would assume though, that if you were to compare a PT crash w/o car seat to another vehicle crash w/ car seat the car w/ properly installed car seat would win in regards to safety. Anyone else...is this a correct assumption?
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Not necessarily; it depends on the severity of a crash. In a rollover, yeah, the car with properly restrained occupants is probably going to win. But what we see is that buses are SO HUGE that if a car hits them, the bus wins. Period. Unless the bus goes off the road, we tend to see fairly minor injuries in bus accidents, to the bus occupants-- the people in the car usually fare much worse.
 

InternationalMama

New member
Busses are statistically much safer than cars. Here are some reasons why a bus might be safer than a car specifically in relation to the OPs case:

1) The bus driver is a professional driver who has probably driven this route with this vehicle hundreds of times and is very familiar with driving in this city and country. The OP is (presumably) an amateur driver who may never have driven this route or in this vehicle or in this country before.

2) The bus is a tank. Busses are massive vehicles that will pretty much plow down any vehicle they come into contact with, even more true probably in Mexico where there will be fewer tank-like personal vehicles on the road. As KQ said, it's only in rollover accidents (which are much rarer on a bus since they are much less likely to tip) and other specific sorts of accidents where cars fare better.

3) Busses are regularly inspected for problems with tires etc. that could cause an accident or make the outcome of the accident worse. (Although rental cars probably are too (for the OP's case), most cars on the road are not as strictly maintained as public transport vehicles.)

4) Although occupants in public transportation are unrestrained, vehicles designed for public transportation are designed to hold unrestrained occupants and therefore have at least some features that make them safer for an unrestrained passenger than a car is for an unrestrained passenger. As an example, you can often choose to seat rear facing in a bus and you (adults) can't in a car. Rear facing is safer for everyone, not just for child restraints.

It's important to remember when comparing busses without restraints to cars with restraints that the child restraint is your last line of defense in an accident. Far more important to whether you have an accident and the outcome of an accident is what vehicle you drive, what condition it is in, and how defensively and skillfully the person behind the wheel is driving (not on a cell phone, etc.). Busses and other forms of public transportation tend to fare much better than cars in this regard.
 
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Evolily

New member
As an example, you can often choose to seat rear facing in a bus and you (adults) can't in a car. Rear facing is safer even for sitting, not just for child restraints.
Although in theory I see what you mean, having rode on buses (and rear facing seats) the lack of head support on a typical bus seat scares me. It would be whiplash... on initial impact. I am not sure that is any safer than sitting on a forward facing seat.

Ex- here's the interior of a public bus in Chicago, it doesn't show a rear facing seat but the rear facing seats look the same as the front and side facing ones http://www.carsareevil.com/images/cta-bus.jpg

That said, I agree buses are safer than cars- period.
 

Eclipsepearl

New member
Plus the fact that buses usually drive slower than cars and often, there are dedicated lanes for buses, so they aren't "competing" with cars on the road.

Buses are also much more visable to other cars, as well as the fact mentioned that in bus vs. car, the bus wins every time. One of the reasons they are unlikely to roll over is that the weight is very low. Even with big wheels, they sit very close to the road.
 

InternationalMama

New member
It would be whiplash... on initial impact. I am not sure that is any safer than sitting on a forward facing seat.
I had thought about the lack of headrests on buses, but hadn't thought about whether the lack of headrest would mean rear facing isn't safer for adults. I imagine it still is safer just because otherwise when people said "rear facing is safer even for adults" on this site they would qualify "as long as there are headrests." :)

Just thinking about it, rear facing prevents your body from continuing to move forward at the speed the vehicle was traveling in a frontal collision (most common collision) so even though the lack of headrests on the bus leaves your neck/upper body exposed the fact that your whole body isn't moving forward and the rest of your body (lower spine, abdominal organs, etc.) is better protected would still trump that, especially when we're comparing unrestrained rear facing passengers to unrestrained forward facing passengers on the bus. Of course, this difference (RF vs FF) is probably miniscule in comparison to all the other safety benefits the bus provides. But it's worth remembering that buses are -designed- for unrestrained passengers, especially when thinking about school buses etc.

Eclipsepearl, I was thinking about the slower speeds and then forgot to mention it. Good points.

For anyone who's interested, you can see the stats on different kinds of transportation here. As you can see, buses rock in terms of safety. :thumbsup:
 
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