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A look at the wheels on the bus going round and round

You might remember that a couple of years ago, U.S. News & World Report gave the Denver-Aurora metro area the top spot in the publication's nationwide ranking of public transportation systems. U.S. News pointed to our light rail line, bus system and airport shuttle service as evidence that no big city in the nation helps residents and visitors move around better than we do.

Accolades are always nice, but when a transportation system is going in so many directions at once, there are also going to be risks of injuries and illnesses affecting bus drivers. Of course, any injuries or illnesses that strike while the drivers are on the job are going to put passengers in potential danger as well.

The federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2013, nearly 6,000 bus drivers sustained injuries or had illnesses that required them to miss at least one day of work. Among the hazards the drivers face are the dangers of motor vehicle accidents and violence among passengers. Though the BLS reports that the drivers are safer in recent years than in the past, concerns for safety will always be a daily part of the drivers' lives.

It is likely no surprise that auto accidents are the leading cause of injuries among bus drivers, accounting for about 42 percent of reported injuries.

Also in the report: overexertion by drivers resulted in 22 percent of their injuries/illnesses.

The BLS noted, too, that slips and falls caused another 20 percent of driver injuries and illnesses in 2013, while violence and other injuries accounted for another 5 percent.

Others who drive for a living -- truckers, delivery service workers, limo drivers -- undoubtedly face some of the same safety concerns that bus drivers deal with daily. When eligible drivers are denied needed workers' compensation benefits, a legal fight can ensue in which it makes sense to have on your side an experienced workers' comp attorney.

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