Quincy Bus Accident Lawyer

Information on Bus Accident Causes

Every year thousands of people are killed in auto accidents and millions more are injured. While we frequently associate injuries with car accidents, many people don't spend much time thinking about the risks of being involved in a bus accident. Although bus accidents are rarer than car accidents, they do occur, and the causes of such accidents can often be traced back to some level of negligence. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that in 2009, there were a total of 47,000 police reported bus accidents. Of those, 20,000 people were injured and 221 people were killed.

In a 2008 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it reports that since 1998 there had been 414,399 fatal motor vehicle collisions, and of those (1,409) were classified as being related to school buses. Since 1998, 1,564 people were killed in a school-bus related collision, averaging out to 142 fatalities each year. The majority of those killed (72%) were the occupants of the other vehicles involved.

On the other hand, nonoccupants such as pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for (20%) of the deaths and the occupants of the school busses accounted for (8%). The data also reports that since 1998, 149 school-aged pedestrians (below the age of 19) had died by being struck or run over by a school bus. Of those 149 children, (69%) were killed by the school bus itself and (47%) of those run over by a school bus were between the ages of 5 and 7. (NHTSA)

Bus Crash Causation Study

The Bus Crash Causation Study (BCCS) was conducted by DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; it collected bus crash data on 39 crashes that involved 40 buses in 2005 and in 2006 in northeastern New Jersey. This area happens to be part of the New York City metropolitan area and it is also home to large fleets of varying types of buses.

The data was collected by a trained crash researcher, as well as state truck and bus inspectors at the collision scene. The research also included data from police reports, and interviews from bus company officials. Ultimately, the BCCS concluded that a large percentage of bus crashes were caused by driver error on the parts of the bus driver and the parts of the drivers of the vehicles in which the busses collided. The study revealed that some of the factors linked to the bus drivers' errors themselves included the following:

  • The bus driver's line of sight was obstructed;
  • Driver in a hurry;
  • The driver was inadequate in making an evasive action;
  • Driver unfamiliar with the road;
  • Insufficient surveillance;
  • Driver made an illegal maneuver;
  • Driver impaired by prescription drugs;
  • Driver had vision problems;
  • Distracted driving; and
  • Bus driver following too close.

The study revealed that the majority of the bus crashes were caused by driver errors as opposed to mechanical malfunctions. Also, the majority of the drivers in the study had a history of violations. Such violations included driving without an active license, having a prior license suspension, improper lane change, turn or passing, speeding, and failure to obey a traffic sign or a light.

In addition to driver error or negligence, other factors can also enter into the equation and cause a bus accident. Such factors that can lead to a crash include: 1) ice on the road, 2) brake failure, 3) bus fire, 4) pedestrian or bicycle in the lane, 5) other vehicle stopped in the lane, and 6) other mechanical malfunctions.

Help for Bus Accident Victims

Much like with a motor vehicle, a motorcycle, a commercial truck, an airplane, or a train, things can go terribly wrong with a bus as well. Whether the cause is environmental (ice, rain, rocks etc.), mechanical (poor maintenance, defective product), or human error (driver negligence), a bus accident can cause serious, if not life-threatening injuries to its passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists and the passengers of other motor vehicles.

At Flanagan & Associates we have experience handling bus accident cases. If you were injured in any type of a bus accident, we are qualified to go head-to-head with the large insurance carrier. Quincy personal injury attorney, Dave Flanagan, is a former insurance adjuster so he knows how to handle insurance companies effectively. If you were injured in a bus accident, we urge you to contact our office to discuss this matter and your rights to financial compensation. We serve the residents of Quincy, Weymouth and other cities throughout the South Shore area with their personal injury claims.

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