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Texas Personal Injury News

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Examining Charter Bus Safety

What are the most common causes of charter bus accidents?

A tragic charter bus accident involving several Texas students has many parents questioning the safety of traveling cross country by charter bus.  The bus involved was carrying students from a Channelview, Texas school home after a trip to Walt Disney World. Forty students and six adults were aboard the bus when it crashed in Alabama.  The driver of the bus died while several students were injured. According to official reports, the bus left the roadway and traveled down an embankment. Investigations are ongoing and the tour bus company has expressed its condolences to the family of the deceased driver.

Causes of Charter Bus Accidents

Large buses are used to transport children and adults both near and far.  Charter buses are most commonly used when students or tour groups need to travel several hours from their home base.  Traditionally, buses are considered one of the safest forms of transportation. According to data compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), bus and truck accidents comprise just 11 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide  In 2015, there were only 257 fatal bus crashes. Transit and school buses accounted for the majority of the fatal accidents.

For parents of students that may travel by charter bus or adults looking to ride on a charter bus themselves, these statistics may not be of much assurance after seeing images of the horrific recent charter bus accident in Alabama.  It becomes important to examine the causes of charter bus accidents so that safety can be further improved. Some of the most common causes of bus accidents include:

  1. Driver fatigue: Bus drivers often work long shifts of up to ten hours. Driving a large vehicle for so many hours on end can lead to fatigue. Notably, the driver of the Texas charter bus was at the end of his shift when the accident occurred.
  2. Speeding: Bus drivers are often under time constraints as they are expected to get their passengers to their destination within a certain amount of time. The weight and size of a bus makes speeding supremely dangerous.
  3. Alcohol and drug use: Bus drivers who use drugs or alcohol create a serious threat to passengers and other road users. Any bus crash will likely require testing to determine whether the driver was under the influence.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, contact a licensed personal injury attorney right away for assistance.  You may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.


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