Bus accidents are often very dangerous, both for bus passengers, as well as other drivers on the road. Bus passengers can easily be injured given the lack of seatbelts, as well as the fact that passengers don’t often realize that an accident is about to occur. Due to the size disparity between buses and other vehicles, bus accidents are usually disastrous for other drivers on the roadway as well. Additionally, bus accidents can be especially confusing to navigate since many buses are owned and operated by public transit companies. As such, it is important that all injured parties are properly represented in a case resulting from a bus accident.
Common Types of Accidents
Common types of bus accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Swinging Turn Crash: This can occur when a bus driver makes a wide-turn to accommodate the length of the bus but inadvertently causes the bus to cross over the median lines of the roadway or get stuck. An accident occurs if the bus then collides with vehicles on either side of it.
- Bus Rollover: This type of accident results after a bus tips over onto its side or roof. Taller vehicles like buses are especially vulnerable to this due to their higher center of gravity.
- Distracted Driving Accident: Given the long hours that bus drivers spend waiting and driving, it can be tempting for drivers to distract themselves with phones or other items. However, given how long it takes to stop a bus in time, these small distractions can often preoccupy a driver long enough for an accident to occur.
- Rear-End Collision: A rear-end collision can occur when a bus driver fails to allow for enough distance to safely bring his bus to a stop behind another vehicle. Alternatively, it can also be hard for vehicles behind a bus to anticipate when the bus will suddenly stop or slow down. Due to the increased size and weight of buses, this type of accident can be extremely dangerous.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Common causes of bus accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Improper Training: Bus drivers who have not been properly or adequately trained often make mistakes that can prove fatal for both the bus passengers and other drives on the road.
- Improper Maintenance: A bus must be regularly inspected and properly maintained. In the absence of such inspection and/or maintenance, accidents are much more likely to occur.
- Speeding: Due to the increased weight of a bus, drivers must account for extra breaking distance, especially when speeding.
- Driver Fatigue: Though there are federal and state limits on the maximum number of hours a bus driver can drive, drivers still can become fatigued (and therefore less alert) when driving long hours or routes.
- Improper Route: If a driver takes an improper route, he/she can cause an accident by driving on roads that are too narrow or curved for a bus to travel on.
Proper Representation on Bus Case
The bus industry is used to dealing with the aftermath of a bus accident and has standard practices and procedures that it follows. By contrast, the driver of a car involved in a bus accident or an injured bus passenger may not know what to do and can therefore quickly get in over his head when trying to hold a bus driver or transit company responsible for the accident. As such, proper representation is key when trying to make sure that justice is obtained for the injured driver.
A qualified law firm will work with the driver to:
- Investigate the transit company’s records, as well as the bus driver’s driving record, and ensure that the relevant logs and records have not been falsified.
- Hire proper experts to examine the accident and the transit company’s practices. Such experts include accident reconstructionists, safety standards experts, etc.
- Investigate the practices of the transit company to ensure that the bus was properly inspected and maintained, and the bus driver was sufficiently trained and managed.
- Ensure that the driver’s injuries are properly investigated, including the driver’s medical care, medical costs, and losses in future wages. Relatedly, a qualified attorney will try to ensure that any award properly accounts for the driver’s medical costs, losses in present and future wages, and pain and suffering.
- Investigate whether the bus passed safety checks and that the equipment was used correctly.
- Collect and examine vital evidence related to the accident in order to best protect the injured parties.
- Determine whether there is any video evidence that would be relevant.
What David Foos Can Do