Motor Vehicle Accidents Bus Accidents
Transportation by bus can connect communities and cities across Texas, where access to public transportation options such as subways and trains is limited or nonexistent. While the benefits of public transportation are present, it does come at a cost to citizens. According to a report produced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,455 fatal large truck and bus accidents occurred in 2017. This was an 8% increase over the previous year and a dramatic 42% increase over the past decade dating back to 2009. As cities across Texas grow in size and population, more commuters are turning to bus transportation for travel. With an increase in accidents among buses, more needs to be done to protect the safety of bus passengers and those who share the road with them.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Buses are governed by a strict set of safety guidelines for a reason. By design, they are large vehicles capable of carrying a high volume of passengers and their belongings. This means that when buses are involved in an accident, they have a greater potential to inflict serious injuries than a passenger vehicle. There is an increased sense of danger associated with bus accidents due to the amount of passengers a bus can carry and thus potentially harm.
A bus carrying passengers can only be as safe as the driver steering it. Drivers who are fatigued, impaired, distracted, and/or inadequately trained are more likely to make errors that could result in an accident. Additionally, drivers engaging in distracted driving behaviors are less likely to pay attention to the road and thus can’t react in a timely manner. A bus’s weight and size will not allow it to stop in the same manner as a passenger vehicle; this means driving a bus requires the full attention of the bus driver driver at all times. Bus drivers are responsible for not only the lives of their passengers but those who share the road with them. Employers should offer proper and routine training to all bus drivers.
Buses of all types – school, charter, or public – require routine inspections and maintenance in order to run properly. When maintenance is overlooked, bus passengers suffer. Preventable mechanical problems can inflict serious damage when buses are not serviced regularly. A school bus with faulty breaks could turn tragic in seconds if the driver has to brake quickly, as buses can lack passenger safety features such as seatbelts and airbags.
External factors can also influence a bus on the road. When cities fail to maintain roads, potholes and other debris can cause fatal bus accidents. Buses are not able to swerve to avoid striking objects as adeptly as passenger vehicles. Additionally, the sudden movements of buses can dramatically impact passengers by throwing them around inside of the cabin or even possibly ejecting them. Buses rely on adequate traffic signs signaling changes in the road ahead, such as speed, curves, or construction, to safely transport passengers.
Bus Accident Attorneys
All bus passengers deserve to arrive safely at their destinations. Buses are powerful vehicles that can injure or kill when not handled properly. If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Bus accidents cases can be complex legal battles that require the guidance and experience of a seasoned trial attorney like John Flood. There is limited time to act in Texas, so contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.