Bus Accidents

Morrow & Sheppard are privileged to represent people who are injured in accidents involving buses. Please click here for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights before they are jeopardized by a corporation or insurance company.

From transit buses in cities, to school buses in neighborhoods all over the country, to long-distance buses on our interstate highways, every day millions of ordinary drivers encounter buses on the roadways. Because they are incredibly common, not everyone realizes how dangerous buses can be.

Given their incredible size and speed, the damages sustained in a bus accident can be catastrophic. A fully loaded 40-foot transit bus weights approximately 36,000 pounds. By comparison, a Ford F-150 weights less than 5,000 pounds. Although serious injury and death can certainly occur to the passengers of the bus involved in an accident, the National Transportation Safety Board has reported that the majority of fatalities occurs to occupants of other vehicles involved in bus accidents.

There are thousands of interstate bus—or “motorcoach”—carrier companies operating in the United States. Some of these companies operate large fleets of buses across the country, such as Greyhound. Others are small companies that may operate only a few buses in local areas. Some of these companies operate scheduled routes daily, in which the company becomes familiar with the route, the speeds, the turns, the road conditions, and the like. Other companies specialize in “charter” service, in which the bus is hired for a one-time route which the driver may or may not have ever taken. The National Transportation Safety Board has reported that smaller bus companies of 10 buses or less and operating less than 10 years are more likely to be involved in accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board further estimates that 35% of United States bus carriers are registered in five states: Texas, California, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Training procedures can differ greatly amongst different “motorcoach” carriers. Some follow a formal training process, and others a less formal training process. Unfortunately, the other drivers on the road have no idea whether the bus driver sharing the road with them is properly trained or not.

Causes of a bus accident could include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver lack of qualifications
  • Falsifying the number of hours driver / driving for too long
  • Faulty equipment
  • Not being sufficiently familiar with the route
  • Improper responses to road conditions
  • Improper responses to weather conditions
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Not paying attention (texting, cell phone use, speaking with passengers, etc.)

Under federal law, buses engaged in interstate transport generally cannot be inspected for compliance with the rules and regulations while they are transporting people, except in certain situations in which imminent danger is suspected. This can create a dangerous situation for the other drivers on the road if the bus driver knows there are issues of non-compliance, but also knows that the chances of the bus being inspected are rare.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident, please contact us now for a free, confidential consultation.

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Bus Accidents Blog

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