INJURED IN A PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OR BUS ACCIDENT?
Millions of Americans rely on public transportation every day, and as the use of buses, trolleys, and trams increases, so does the number of serious and fatal accidents. With more routes needed to meet commuter needs, bus companies are relying more and more on overworked, fatigued, and inexperienced drivers.
While bus accidents can be dangerous for the passengers on the bus, most often they result in the injury or death of non-passengers including the occupants of other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. When a negligent driver is responsible for such an accident, the driver’s employer may be held accountable as well.
BUS ACCIDENT STATISTICS
- In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported approximately 11,000 bus accidents resulting in injuries.
- 22,000 people were injured in these accidents
- 281 people were killed in these accidents
- There were 109 fatalities involving a crash with a school bus in 2014 — the most of any bus type.
- 83 fatalities involving a transit bus
- 47 fatalities involving a cross-country, intercity bus
- 11 fatalities involving a van-based bus
- Of the 281 fatalities in crashes involving a bus, 44 were occupants on a bus.
- 79 pedestrians were killed in crashes involving a bus (27.8 percent of all bus-involved crash fatalities)
COMMON CAUSES OF BUS ACCIDENTS
When drivers make mistakes while operating a bus, the consequences can be severe and potentially deadly. Whether you are a passenger on the bus, in another vehicle, or a pedestrian on the sidewalk, crashes involving reckless bus drivers can leave you with severe injuries. The following are the most common causes of bus crashes:
- Distracted driving
- Texting or talking on a cellphone while driving
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to see or yield to other vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Brake failures
- Defective or worn tires
- Tire blowouts
- Failure to adhere to traffic laws
- Failure to use proper signals
- Unsafe lane changes
- Unsafe changes of direction
- Reckless driving
SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION-RELATED ACCIDENTS
According to NHTSA, school buses are one of the safest modes of transportation there is. School buses are approximately seven times safer than regular passenger vehicles and light trucks, and yet most do not have seatbelts installed. Large buses are not required to have seatbelts, but smaller buses (less than 10,000 pounds) must be equipped with lap or lap/shoulder seatbelts.
Although a mere 0.4 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes were classified as school transportation-related between 2005 and 2014, accidents involving school buses do occur. Between 2005 and 2014, an average of 133 people were killed annually in school transportation-related accidents. This number includes passengers on the school transportation vehicle, occupants of other vehicles, and nonoccupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
The horrifying school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in November 2016 has put school bus accidents back on the map. Six children were killed and a dozen others hospitalized after the bus driver negligently took a curve in the road at high speeds, crashing the bus into a utility pole and a tree. Investigators discovered the driver had three prior bus crashes before the fatal incident. Parents should not have to worry about the safety of their child when they send them off to school. Negligence on the part of a bus driver, school bus company, or school district could lead to serious injuries or even death.
WHO CAN BE HELD RESPONSIBLE IN A BUS ACCIDENT?
If it is determined that a bus driver was negligent in an accident, the driver’s employer may be liable for:
- Failure to properly train drivers
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Failure to verify proper licensing/certification
- Negligent hiring practices
- Negligent supervision
- Negligent entrustment
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED BUS ACCIDENT LAWYER
If you or your child have been injured in a bus accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our team of experienced bus accident attorneys are available to evaluate your claim 24/7, nights and weekends. Thomas J. Henry has the financial resources and the track record of winning that you need in a law firm. Contact us today for a free case review.