Everyday millions of Americans rely on buses to get to and from work, school, and other places. Although these large vehicles are at the heart of our transportation system, their large size and high occupancy can make them incredibly dangerous for passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the regulating agency that oversees bus transport and sets specific guidelines to help reduce the number and severity of bus accidents. Drivers who operate any type of bus must have a special license to do so, and must also follow regulations regarding the number of working hours, distractions while driving, and driving under the influence, among others.
Causes of Bus Accidents
After a bus accident has occurred, it can take investigators many months to determine the exact cause of an accident. There are multiple factors that could cause a bus accident, but some of the most common include:
- Failure to adequately train bus drivers
- Negligently hiring bus drivers with poor driving records
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving behaviors such as speeding
- A bus over its load capacity
- Poor vehicle maintenance
The Deadly Nature of Bus Accidents
One reason bus accidents are so deadly is the lack of seatbelts in buses. Without a restraint system, passengers can be thrown around or even thrown outside the bus in the event of an accident. Because of their weight, buses require more time to come to a complete stop, which means drivers must always be attentive and insure they have allowed enough assured stopping distance. Additionally, buses have high centers of gravity, which makes them prone to overturning or completely rolling over.
Who’s At Fault?
Companies owning and operating buses have a responsibility to passengers to provide a safe mode of transportation by following FMCSA guidelines. Additionally, bus operators are expected to not recklessly endanger the lives of passengers or other motorists. Most of the time, the cause of a bus accident can be more complex than a cut and dry case, so it’s important to meet with an experienced bus accident attorney who can review the facts of the case and determine how to proceed with holding the negligent parties responsible.
Houston Bus Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a Houston bus accident, you may have many questions. The experienced bus accident lawyers at Blizzard & Nabers can help you understand your legal options and fight for your rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.