A Rise in Another Statistic
Unfortunately, the increase in the use of public transportation has witnessed another increase, as well: the increased number of accidents involving buses. The number of injuries and fatalities due to bus accidents has risen along with this increase in public transportation use. Nationwide, the number of bus accident fatalities increased by 3.4% in 2014 alone. Even though a bus accident still may not be as common as a car accident, the effects of a bus accident can be traumatic.
Bus Accident Statistics
In 2014, bus accidents took the lives of over 350 people. About 49% of these fatalities were either drivers or passengers of the other vehicles involved in the accident. More fatalities occurred in occupants of other vehicles than amongst occupants of the buses involved. 32% of the accidents involved public transportation buses with an almost equal percentage involving school buses. New York and Florida reported the largest number of bus accidents. These are startling statistics.
Why Do Bus Accidents Occur?
Even more startling is the reported causes for bus accidents. One of the major reported causes of bus accidents is driver negligence. Often this driver negligence is due to driver fatigue, which is also another major reason for bus accidents. When a bus driver is drowsy, this impairs his or her ability to make careful decisions and slows down his or her reaction time. Federal law requires that bus drivers log their driving times to ensure that they aren’t driving too much to ensure proper rest time between drive times, but federal law doesn’t regulate what drivers do in the between times. Driver impairment is increased with alcohol and drug use. Even though transportation companies are required to drug screen potential drivers and must conduct random testing, drug and alcohol impaired drivers have slipped through the cracks.
Other reasons for bus accidents include poor bus maintenance. Vehicles age with time, and this aging causes bus parts to malfunction. A proper maintenance schedule should prevent these malfunctions from occurring by replacing worn out or defective parts, but bus companies don’t always follow the schedule. Some of the more common part malfunctions that have caused bus accidents are faulty brakes, tire blowouts, and transmission failure. In addition to these, buses sometimes wreck due to parts that come defective from the manufacturer. Finally, other bus accidents have been caused by poorly designed roadways. Buses are hard to maneuver, and poorly designed roadways make this maneuvering even more difficult with steep hills and tight curves. Also, needed road repair leaves large potholes that are a hazard for any vehicle, especially for buses.
Bus drivers are liable for the safety of their passengers. This responsibility is known as a driver’s “duty of care”. Bus passengers take the lives of their passengers into their hands when they get behind the wheel. If negligence is the cause of a bus accident, either on the part of the bus company or the driver, the driver is held liable for any injuries or damages that occur.
Help When You Need It
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation if the bus company or driver was negligent. Whether the negligence was due to driver fatigue, impaired driver, or improper bus maintenance, the company and the driver could be held liable. If the accident was due to defective parts, the parts manufacturer could be liable. There are so many ways in which different entities can be held liable for a bus accident. An experienced bus accident attorney can help you understand your rights and help you pursue options to assert those rights. Call Avrek Law Firm, to speak to an experienced bus accident attorney today to receive the help you need for fighting for your rights if you or a loved one is a bus accident victim.
Call today at 949-313-3577 for a no-hassle, no obligation, free consultation.