Houston Bus Accident Attorney
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The Dangers of Public Transportation & Bus Accidents
No type of vehicle accident is free of consequences—whether only a few scratches are incurred or catastrophic injuries result. This is particularly true of bus accidents. Bus accidents are likely to result in injuries to the parties involved, and there are almost always many parties involved.
Bus passengers may sustain injuries due to the following:
- Lack of safety restraints
- Inadequately trained drivers
- Improperly maintained busses
- Negligent bus drivers
- Bus drivers under the influence
Bus mechanics can also contribute to accidents. Because these vehicles are so large, their brakes are under tremendous pressure and must be frequently examined and well-maintained. Unfortunately, many maintenance problems are ignored by bus operators so that the vehicles can continue their operations and not undercut company profits. Notably, when proper maintenance is neglected, additional stressors such as overloaded or crowded buses can cause or contribute to bus accidents and related injuries.
Why Injuries from Texas Bus Accidents Are Far Too Common
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, bus accidents cause between 11,000 and 15,000 injuries per year. These injuries range in severity, although it is reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that there are around 300 fatalities every year that were caused by bus accidents. These numbers are far too high—especially when you consider how many communities rely on methods of public transportation to get around. Buses are not only used for the transportation of the community at large but students too. Nearly 25 million children ride a school bus in the U.S. Nationwide, there are around 20 deaths per year caused by school bus accidents. One report from 2006 showed that 17,000 children are sent to the ER every year due to school bus-related accidents—double what experts estimated.
School buses, city buses, or tour buses are all generally the same in one way: None of them measure up to rigorous safety standards.
Factors in Serious Bus Accident Injuries
Despite the number of accidents, buses are not required to make any changes to their equipment to create a safer environment. It is not unheard of to travel on a bus that offers no seat belts. When there are “click it or ticket” laws all over the country, it doesn’t make sense to deny passengers the chance to buckle up on a bus. Bus safety advocates have another concern: Not only do the majority of buses today not offer seat belts to their passengers, but the roofs placed on most tour buses don’t provide adequate protection in case of a rollover, nor do the windows have the proper glazed covering. When involved in an accident, top-heavy vehicles like a bus can flip on the road. Without adequate strength in the roof or windows, the possibility of roof crush increases—leading to more severe injuries. There have been recent cases about the dangers of “party buses,” in which preventable circumstances killed victims. One instance involved a girl who leaned against the inside of the bus and fell out of the emergency exit—a door that is supposed to have a particular lock on it to prevent accidental openings.
As a result of not requiring better safety equipment, thousands of people are being injured or killed every year, and millions are put at risk.
Highlighting the Issue with a 2007 Atlanta Bus Crash
In March 2012, the U.S. Senate approved bus safety legislation tightening requirements for bus drivers as well as the companies that operate the vehicles. The bill was introduced after a 2007 bus crash in Atlanta that killed seven people. In that accident, the bus driver accidentally drove the vehicle onto an exit ramp and crashed through a barrier wall, causing the bus to fall onto the highway below. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board into the accident placed blame on driver error and poor traffic signals.
Among other things, the bill requires bus designs to include seat belts and stronger seating systems to reduce the risk of injuries to passengers in the event of an accident. Investigators believe that fewer passengers would have died in the Atlanta accident had the bus been equipped with seat belts. The legislation also calls for more advanced training for bus drivers, and the installation of anti-ejection glazing windows, which can help reduce the risk of passengers being thrown from buses in the event of a collision or crash.
How Are Other Cars, Bicycle & Pedestrians Endangered?
During a bus accident, not only are passengers in danger, the safety and well being of other car drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians on the road are jeopardized. While the large size of a bus perfectly serves the purpose of transporting many individuals at once, it also poses a problem for others on the road, particularly when it comes to an accident. There is a significant difference in size and weight when comparing a bus to a passenger vehicle. On the road, a bus could easily cause serious damage to the smaller, less heavy vehicle if they were to collide into each other.
Call a Houston Bus Crash Lawyer Today: (888) 493-1629
Unfortunately, recovering damages after being injured in a bus accident can be challenging. Many buses are owned or operated by government entities, making liability more complicated. Even if you have been injured on a privately owned bus, filing a bus accident complaint is nothing like dealing with the aftermath of a normal car accident. Deadlines to file required notices pass very quickly, often within days of the incident.
Arnold & Itkin is prepared to help. We have successfully recovered billions in verdicts and settlements, and we know what it takes to help you do the same successfully. Bus accident victims should not suffer any more than they already have from their injuries, and we are here to make sure that everything possible is done to help prevent further pain and suffering.
Immediate action must be taken to preserve a claim against the responsible party. Call Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629 today.
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