While many interstate bus companies offer cheap curbside service these days, the discounted ticket price is often achieved at the expense of safety. Worse still, when these buses crash, injured passengers are often left with little recourse to receive compensation for their injuries.
There are many factors that contribute to the dangers of curbside bus operations. In order to cut costs, these bus lines hire less-than qualified drivers, many of whom lack the experience, health, or language skills needed to safely operate a commercial bus. Additionally, cheap bus lines require drivers to work long shifts without rest periods, in direct violation of Department of Transportation regulations. Tired drivers are unsafe drivers, as our Houston personal injury attorneys have shown.
When all of these factors are combined, accidents are inevitable. Unfortunately, recent history shows how dangerous these shortcuts can be. In 2011, a World Wide Tours bus in New York crashed while under the operation of an overtired driver—15 people died and 19 others suffered severe injuries, including amputations.
Shortly after the World Wide Tours crash, a Sky Express tour bus went off the road and flipped over near Carmel Church, Virginia—the crash killed four people and injured dozens. An overtired driver was at fault in that case as well. While the Department of Transportation immediately shut down the company after the crash, advocates wanted a more permanent answer to the bus crash frequency issue.
Unfortunately, very little has changed in the intervening years.
3 Bus Crashes Within 3 Months
Recently, a November 2015 bus crash in Arkansas resulted in the death of 6 passengers—3 of whom were ejected from the bus. The driver was not found to be intoxicated, and the weather conditions that night were not affecting visibility or road safety. When last updated, the investigation was examining the possibility of driver fatigue. Later that month, a second bus crash in Virginia left dozens of passengers injured.
In February 2016, another bus crash resulted in dozens of injuries in Connecticut. As with the earlier crashes, there was no evidence that the driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol. Eerily, the crash occurred on the 13th anniversary of a fatal bus crash that occurred on Garden State Parkway en route to Atlantic City.
As Houston bus accident lawyers, our job is facts, not superstition. The fact that bus accidents are this severe, even in ideal conditions, means something needs to be done to make safer buses a reality. At the same time, something needs to be done to ensure that injured passengers have the ability to hold companies responsible for their medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Because these bus lines try to save money whenever possible, they also tend to carry very minimal insurance. This means that when crashes happen, bus company operators may not even have enough insurance coverage to compensate victims for their medical bills, let alone pain and suffering.
If a situation such as that occurs, experienced vehicle accident attorneys can help by pursuing other parties that bear some responsibility for the crash, from leasing companies to ticket vendors. Though not easy, Arnold & Itkin can conduct in-depth investigations and hold all negligent parties responsible. For victims of bus crashes, this can mean the difference between insurmountable medical bills and real justice.