More than 10,000 bus crashes result in the injuries or death of passengers every year. In August, one of the worst bus crashes to date resulted in the death of 8 people and the injury of 25 passengers. An 18-wheeler had a tire blowout and crashed into a Greyhound on I-40 in New Mexico. Our bus accident attorneys want to make sure both drivers and passengers have as much information as they need to safely navigate US highways.
Whether you are a driver or passenger, the following tips could make the difference that saves your life and the lives of others during a bus accident.
Tips for Drivers
Trip safety starts before a trip even begins. Bus drivers and operators have a responsibility to check the maintenance status of their vehicles, but it's vital for regular drivers to do the same.
Inspect Your Vehicle Before Long Trips
The smallest imperfection to the various components of a car can lead to catastrophe. Checking the general wear on tires and ensuring they are at a proper level of inflation can prevent a blowout. When a bus has a blowout, their large size and high stature combine with their weight to cause them to quickly lose control. While your car is easier to control in a blowout, it's still good practice to check on the tires before long trips.
Check Your Surroundings While Driving
Unfortunately, commercial bus drivers do not always make the best decisions for road safety. By driving defensively, you may prevent an accident from occurring due to inattentive bus drivers. Being aware of your surroundings will increase your preparedness to avoid an accident.
Know the Limits of Your Car
Buses are large and heavy vehicles that must be treated with extreme caution. Don't allow yourself to be tailgated—buses require extended distances to safely stop. The more distance that you allow between your car and large vehicles, the longer you will have to prevent an accident.
Tips for Passengers
Many passengers rely solely on bus drivers to make sure that their trip is safe. However, those that ride buses must actively participate is safe practices.
Buses frequently stop on busy streets to pick up passengers. Exercise caution while boarding a bus to prevent being struck by it or another vehicle. As the bus is approaching, wait until it is completely stopped before you approach its doors. Additionally, be wary of accidentally stepping into the busy street. When climbing the steps of a bus, use the handrail to prevent injuries caused by falling.
Use Safety Restraints
If you bus has safety restraints, do not hesitate to use them. Many people are lured into a false sense of confidence provided by the spacious interior of a bus, and they use the opportunity to freely move around the cabin while traveling. When an accident occurs, the results are devastating for those who are not wearing safety restraints.
Don’t be a Distraction
Bus drivers must remain focused to provide a safe journey for passengers. Avoid being loud or being a distraction, either of which could impact a driver’s ability to focus on the road.
If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in an accident, Arnold & Itkin can help. Call our bus accident attorneys at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation.