A Deadly Bus Crash Can Prove Catastrophic
Because of the way bus seating is designed, passengers on buses have far less chance of being injured or killed than drivers and passengers in other vehicles involved. A research study by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that in 2009 (last available data) about 5.7 people in other vehicles died in a bus accident for every bus passenger.
Buses outweigh and out-size most vehicles, excluding other large commercial trucks. Because of this, when another vehicle gets in a crash with a bus, the greater weight of the bus has a potential to crush a car upon impact and, depending on the circumstances of the accident and how fast each vehicle is going, chances are the passengers in the other vehicle will be seriously injured, or killed.
Common Causes of Bus Crashes
Some common causes of bus wrecks due to driver negligence are:
Driving under the influence of a substance
Causes of bus accidents due to company negligence include:
Inadequate driver training
Not performing required inspections
Not keeping vehicles in good repair
Pressuring drivers to work long hours
School Bus Crashes
News of a school bus crash is always scary. Kids are small and light, and it’s easy to picture small children being thrown around or out of the bus when it has a violent impact with another car.
School bus accident statistics are misleading since government statistics do not include private school buses and interstate field trips. Many school buses are not equipped with seat belts and for those who do they might leave the children in charge of securing their own seat belt properly. Because of this, if a school bus crashes or flips, children can and do get seriously injured or killed.
In some states, because the school bus provides seat belts which it leaves up to the kids to secure, the school board and driver have no liability when a child is seriously injured or dies in an accident and the child did not secure the seat belt properly or put it on. In Kentucky, the doctrine of sovereign immunity limits claims against a county a county school board, but the bus driver can be held liable for vehicle collisions.
Long Distance Bus Accidents - Greyhound Bus Accident:
Commercial buses that operate as commercial carriers not only owe a duty or ordinary care or simple negligence to other vehicles traveling the highways, but they owe “the utmost skill and foresight” for the safety and protection of their passengers. This is a higher standard of care which makes it easier to prove the common carrier’s liability for injuries caused to its passengers.
Greyhound hauls people from all over, and can crash for many reasons. Since they are big and haul a lot of people there’s a huge potential for injury. Passengers can be standing up, walking around, and using the bathroom in the back of the bus. Sometimes a passenger will smuggle a flask of liquor on board the bus, and there have been crashes caused by an unruly passenger threatening the driver.
With passengers free to move around while the bus is going down the road, a weight imbalance can cause the bus to flip or turn over, especially if the driver is behind schedule and driving fast. Sometimes a Greyhound accident may be due to driver error, the behavior of a passenger, mechanical failure, a tire blowout or any number of reasons but the result of a crash is always serious injury and usually at least one passenger dies.
Tour Bus Crash
People charter buses to go on a trip together in a large group. Individuals or small groups book seats on a tour bus. Because these buses usually travel a distance on highways, they’re going fast. The idea of a large group of people, off for a holiday, winding up in a catastrophic bus crash is sad. Sometimes the bus flips, runs off a bridge or even catches on fire. In a tour or charter bus crash where the bus is going at high speed, passengers are frequently injured or killed.
City Bus Accident
A city bus during rush hour is packed with people, many of them standing up and close-packed, without enough straps or anything else to hold onto. Nobody is wearing a seat belt, and sometimes a mentally unstable person boards the bus with a weapon. It’s a wonder that more people are not injured on city buses. Some city buses are express buses, meaning they get on the freeway to go to a destination rapidly.
A commercial city bus is also a common carrier and as such, the company has a duty to provide safe passage to all passengers. In Kentucky, for example, a common carrier owes its passengers a higher degree of care than does an operator of a private vehicle. There are many ways this duty can be breached, and if an accident results from providing substandard care for the passenger’s safety, then the public transportation provider is liable, and perhaps others.
Some city bus conditions which could cause accident and/or injury are:
Also, if a dangerous passenger is allowed on board who does something to harm another passenger, or causes chaos that results in an accident, the transit company may be held liable in some cases when the bus driver had reason to believe the passenger was a danger to others and allowed the passenger on the bus or remain on the bus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Darryl Isaacs
Darryl Isaacs, aka “The Hammer” founded this law firm dedicated to putting the best interests of each and every client first. Darryl believes that when somebody suffers a grievous injury which impairs their ability to work and take care of family or other responsibilities, the entire community is also harmed, which can be compared to throwing a stone into a pool of water and watching the ripples expand outwards.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.