In 2005, there were over 800,000 commercial buses registered in the United States. As we are encouraged to save gas, protect the environment and utilize mass transportation whenever possible, the number of commercial buses operating in the United States continues to rise. Due to the increasing popularity and necessity of commuter buses as a main source of transportation, it’s no surprise that the number of bus-related injuries and deaths are also rising at an alarming rate. According to the Center for National Truck and Bus Safety Statistics, the most common fatal bus related accidents are car-bus collisions followed closely by pedestrian accidents. More than 60% of bus accident fatalities involve another vehicle and 25% involve a pedestrian. The Federal government defines a bus as a passenger-carrying vehicle designed to seat at least 16 including the driver. The Federal Department of Transportation’s Motor Carrier Safety Administration develops, administers and polices rules and regulations to ensure safety of bus passengers. Among the regulations promulgated by the Motor Carrier Safety Administration are the hours a bus driver must log before carrying passengers, bus safety features and preventive maintenance of the buses. These rules are in addition to the requirement that the driver of a bus must obtain a special type of driver’s license. Despite these national standards, state governments are involved in establishing their own common carrier regulation, meaning that bus accident litigation can vary widely from state to state.
In California alone, there were 1,260 buses involved in fatal and non-fatal crashes in 2008. Of those 1,260 crashes, 31 involved a fatality and another 735 involved injuries. In total, 39 people were killed and another 1,395 people suffered injuries as a result of bus crashes in the State of California in just one year. Bus accidents can be caused by numerous contributing factors including driver negligence, dangerous roadways, bad weather conditions, inadequate security, defective products and improper maintenance. Regardless of the reason for the accident, a bus accident can be very costly and traumatic. When we board a commercial carrier of any kind, we are trusting them with our lives – literally. We make the assumption that the driver has had the training necessary to deliver us safely to out destination. We also count on the company to do regular system checks and maintenance to ensure that the bus is in compliance with the law and that it will operate without causing an accident. When the worst happens, and we are injured in an accident, we feel betrayed. You don’t have to go through this alone though. Feelings of anger, betrayal and depression are normal after a traumatic accident. While no one can erase the memory of an accident, an experience California bus accident attorney can help you to receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have suffered.
If you have been injured as the result of a bus accident and would like an experienced attorney to evaluate your case, contact the law offices of Ledger & Associates at 1-800-300-0001 or visit us at www.ledgerlaw.com.