There’s no denying that driving on America’s highways and byways can be a dangerous thing. Cars speed down the freeway over the speed limit. Trucks weave between cars from lane to lane. More and more, passengers on buses find themselves completely at the mercy of the bus driver’s driving skills to negotiate this maze of traffic. And sometimes, the bus driver fails his passengers, involving them in a Bus Accident.
Bus Accident Attorneys are only too aware how potentially tragic Bus Accidents can be, not only because of the size of the vehicle, but because bus passengers are rarely seat-belted into their seats. In a collision passengers can be thrown against one another and in a rollover Bus Accident, the result can be devastating. Every year, 1450 people are killed in Bus Accidents and many, many more suffer injuries.
Statistics say that some 360 million people ride buses every year and travel 28 billion miles per year. That’s a big responsibility for those behind the wheels of these vehicles. Like trains, airlines, subways, or any other type of public transportation, bus companies are held to the highest standard of safety when it comes to operating their buses; higher than you would be, for instance, driving a neighbor’s child to school. This assumes that people put their lives in the hands of a bus company and have every right to expect that as a company responsible for transporting the public, everything has been done to protect their safety and their lives. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Drivers make careless mistakes, or fall asleep at the wheel, brakes fail, or tires blow. Driver error is, by far, the most common cause for a great majority of Bus Accidents on American roads, especially in Los Angeles.
What kinds of buses are involves in these Bus Accident statistics? Public buses account for a large portion of riders, but the school buses that drive our children account for another huge percentage of ridership. Naturally, we assume when we put our children on the school bus in the morning that all care has been taken to protect them. We assume that the driver’s history has been thoroughly checked. But time and again, Bus Accident Attorneys tell us, drivers with spotty or downright awful driving records end up driving our children to school. Shockingly, every year, 11 school age children are killed in Bus Accidents and 12,000 are injured. With no seatbelts on school buses, small children risk grave injury in Bus Accidents of this kind.
Janice Freemont put her daughter, Sarah, on a school bus in Los Angeles one February morning and kissed her goodbye. If she had known what the driver had done the night before, she never would have let her child near that bus. Thirty minutes later, that school bus plowed into a car in an intersection and overturned. Sarah was seriously injured and others were killed. Investigators found that the bus driver had illegal levels of alcohol still in her system at the time of the accident. Janice hired a Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney and sued the bus company for negligence in hiring a woman with a history of drinking they claimed to have missed. Sarah Freemont’s Bus Accident Attorney won a large settlement against the bus company, covering Sarah’s many medical expenses and compensating her for emotional trauma.
We often hear of terrible rollover accidents involving private tour buses and fifteen-passenger vans, often hired by church groups. These bus and van lines seem particularly vulnerable to driver error involving drivers falling asleep at the wheel and vans tumbling down embankments. Here, Bus Accident Attorneys say, the high centers of gravity on these vehicles are particularly dangerous in accidents. Rollovers are frighteningly common in Bus Accidents. The injuries as a result of such terrifying accidents can be numerous and long lasting. An experienced Bus Accident Attorney can sort out your rights if you have been injured in a Bus Accident like this and get you fair compensation for your pain and suffering.
A Bus Accident in California in October of 2008 killed ten people who were ejected or crushed when a bus careened off the road and flipped several times. The driver was found to be not properly permitted as a tour coach bus driver and had previously lost his license for two years for speeding violations and had battled drug and alcohol problems for years. As hard as it is to believe a company could hire a driver with this sort of record, this kind of Bus Accident stresses the importance of doing your homework before you get aboard a private bus of any sort. Check the safety record of that bus company before putting your life in the hands of one of its drivers.
Shuttle buses at airports and hotels are also the culprits of serious accidents. Part of the problem here is the size and shape of shuttle buses. They are awkwardly built things with large blind spots and a high center of gravity. They also tend not to have any sort of seat belt for safety. Not only are passengers flying around in a shuttle Bus Accident, but heavy luggage is as well. Though there is little you can do to protect yourself from accidents like these, there is something you can do should you find yourself injured by one. Contact an experienced Bus Accident Attorney who can recover for you the damages to which you are entitled.