A bus loaded with passengers can weigh upwards of 42,000 pounds. The average passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds. A car is no match for a bus in the event of a crash, and any accident involving a bus can be devastating. Below are some of the common causes of bus accidents and possible ways to prevent them.
One of the most common factors in bus accidents is driver error. Whether the driver is poorly trained, lacking experience, distracted, fatigued, or intoxicated, a bus operator’s poor judgement can lead to a serious – even fatal collision. Bus companies are required to follow federal hours of service (HOS) laws that regulate how many consecutive hours bus drivers can spend behind the wheel. Unfortunately, some companies simply disregard these laws.
Poorly Maintained Vehicles
Public motor coaches transport more than 700 million people annually. This is a lot of wear and tear on these enormous motor vehicles. Older busses need regular safety upgrades and repairs. Routine and rigorous inspection and maintenance help to ensure that busses are safe for operation. Some bus companies skirt federal maintenance regulations to reduce downtime for their fleets; busses that are not on the road are not making money. Other causes of bus accidents include bad weather, defective parts, and another driver’s recklessness.
How to Prevent Bus Accidents
After investigating several serious bus accidents throughout the country, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived at several recommendations for improving bus safety. First, the agency calls for stronger government oversight of motor coach operators. Several bus companies forced to shut down because of safety issues simply reopen under new names. The NTSB wants the government to tighten bus safety regulations and hold companies accountable for the safety of their fleets.
The NTSB also wants to make bus crashes more survivable by upgrading safety. They suggest making exits easier to find and operate, and increasing roof, window and passenger compartment strength. Finally, the NTSB proposes that bus companies install technology that helps drivers avoid collisions such as lane departure and crash warning alerts. The NTSB also advises installing technology that monitors crucial bus system data that alert the driver when repairs are needed.
Legal Help for Victims of Bus Accidents
In some states, under the common carrier law, public transportation companies are required to provide passengers the highest degree of care in terms of safety. This rule generally applies to public and school busses. Depending upon where the accident occurs, the common carrier is obligated to this standard while the bus is in operation. In other states, it applies to all circumstances – even while the bus is parked at the depot. Under common carrier laws, victims injured in bus accidents are still required to prove negligence on the driver or carrier’s part.
Delaware Bus Accident Lawyers McCann & Wall, LLC Recover Maximum Compensation for Victims Injured in Bus Accidents
Common carrier laws vary by state. If you were injured on a bus or train, you may be unsure about your legal right to compensation for your injuries. The Delaware bus accident lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC will review your case and tell you exactly how to proceed based upon the laws in your state. If another person’s carelessness caused your injuries, we can help. Schedule free a consultation with a seasoned Delaware bus accident lawyer by calling 302-304-8047 or contact us online. McCann & Wall has offices throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to serve you.