The U.S. Department of Transportation tells us that intercity buses are one of the safest methods of travel overall. Commercial bus routes are driven by skilled and well-trained professionals who have been instructed on how to avoid highway dangers and how to respond to critical situations. Greyhound, the industry leader, carries nearly 18 million riders per year a total of almost 5.5 billion passenger miles.
Even though the industry makes an effort to ensure passenger safety, accidents happen—and bus accidents are uniquely risky. A commercial bus typically can carry about 50 passengers, which means there are far more people at risk during a coach bus accident than during a passenger vehicle accident. In addition, a bus is far more massive than most other vehicles on the road—and mass is a factor both in momentum (the ability to fling passengers and other vehicles across the roadway during a collision) and in kinetic energy (the force that fractures bones, ruptures internal organs, and inflicts other injuries on bus accident victims).
The scope of the problem
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration looked back on trends in bus accidents over two decades. Although the number of bus crashes nationwide has declined over that period, the tragic toll of commercial bus accidents remains unacceptably high. In 2008, for instance, there were still 11,000 bus accidents causing injuries on U.S. roads, with 24,000 people injured.
Some of these crashes can be blamed on reckless behavior by other drivers—but not all. The fact is that a surprising number of bus accident injuries are due to bus company personnel who fail to take proper safety precautions. Among the factors that have been identified as causes for recent bus accidents are:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver intoxication (alcohol, prescription medication, or narcotics)
- Lack of appropriate driving skills
- Aggressive driving
- Ignoring traffic signs and warnings
- Inappropriate driving for weather conditions
- Use of defective vehicle parts leading to critical failures on the road
- Faulty repairs or maintenance
- Unbalanced or shifting loads of passenger luggage that affects the bus’s maneuvering ability
Where to turn if you have been injured in a coach bus accident
If you have been hurt during a commercial bus crash, do not sign a release or accept a check from the bus company’s insurance adjuster until you have spoken to an attorney. Even making a statement to the adjuster may result in your forfeiting legal rights to compensation.
If the bus company’s employees acted negligently to cause the accident, then you may be able to demand compensation from the company for your medical care, lost income, permanent disability, and pain and suffering. But you must act quickly to get the recovery you are due. Connect with the bus injury lawyers at Ostroff Injury Law by calling 888-653-3636 toll-free today. Let’s discuss your experience and see what your case is worth. We guarantee you that we will not charge you a fee until you settle your case or receive a verdict for damages.