Common Causes of Bus Accidents
A Bus Accident isn’t anything like a car (or even a truck) accident. In addition to the numerous safety regulations that govern bus companies and their drivers, crashes often result from underlying medical conditions, like untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea, that most lawyers either overlook or don’t have the experience or resources to prove.
Having successfully represented over 100 injured bus passengers in the past 5 years alone, our Bus Accident Lawyers have the resources, experience and ability to hold bus companies accountable and ensure that our passengers receive the maximum compensation available.
Just recently, for example, our Bus Accident Lawyers obtained the first court-ordered sleep study on a Greyhound driver who was suspected of having untreated sleep apnea weeks before being involved in a serious crash that injured over 25 passengers onboard. The Greyhound lawsuit settled for $6 Million several months later.
While every bus crash is unique, we’ve listed the safety violations and health problems that we most commonly see in bus accident lawsuits:
The leading cause of Bus Accidents: Driver Fatigue
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations establish strict rules that govern the number of hours a bus driver can spend (1) driving and (2) on duty. These same regulations also expressly prohibit bus companies from allowing bus drivers to drive while they’re fatigue OR when they are likely to become fatigued.
Unfortunately, however, these critical safety rules are often ignored, which is one of the primary reasons that driver fatigue is consistently recognized as the #1 leading cause of commercial bus accidents.
While driving while fatigued in any vehicle is extremely dangerous, the risks are increased exponentially when a commercial bus is involved. And commercial drivers are substantially more likely to suffer from untreated sleep disorders, like Obstructive Sleep Apnea, that cause chronic fatigue and increase the risk of a fatigued-related crash by up to 8 times.
Safety Violations & Inadequate Maintenance
Perhaps one of the most tragic causes of bus accidents are those that are completely preventable.
All too often, bus companies and their drivers cut corners to save money. Buses are often rushed through their safety checks, and repairs are regularly delayed to avoid having to take the bus “out of service.” Tires are under or over-inflated causing blowouts, engines catch fire, or brakes fail.
But when maintenance falls behind schedule, buses crash and passengers are seriously injured. This is why bus companies are required, under federal law, to undergo frequent inspections and scheduled maintenance.
As with the driver medical requirements, these regulations are often ignored by bus companies in an effort to reduce costs and increase profits.
Aggressive Driving & Speeding
Thousands of traffic accidents each year are caused by bus drivers failing to follow the speed limit and other “rules of the road.” Bus drivers are typically kept on a tight schedule and are encouraged to speed so that deadlines will be met. When weather, traffic, or road construction causes a delay, there is a temptation to make up the time by speeding. Most buses have a “black box” onboard which stores valuable operational data including the speed at the time of the crash.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Bus drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Bus companies are responsible for conduction random, unannounced tests, and bus drivers should be required to undergo alcohol and drug tests following a serious accident. Any positive test should result in removal from duty.
If You or a Loved One were Injured in a Bus Accident, Call our Bus Accident Lawyers at 1-888-603-3636 or Email Us by Clicking Here
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