Bus accidents happen all too frequently. Often, individuals on the bus are not the ones who are injured or killed in an incident of this type. It may be a pedestrian, the driver of another vehicle, or a passenger in a motor vehicle who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. What should every person know about bus crashes today?
When evaluating bus collisions, men and women need to take into account the type of bus involved. During the ten-year period from 2007 to 2017, intercity buses only accounted for a small percentage of fatal crashes involving a vehicle of this kind. School buses made up 40 percent of fatal bus accidents, possibly due to the small size of the occupants, and transit buses accounted for 35 percent of fatal crashes involving a bus. However, in 2017, 73 school buses and 13 intercity buses were involved in fatal crashes. These are the lowest numbers seen since the data began being collected in 1975. Nevertheless, any fatal bus accident is a tragedy.
What Causes Bus Accident Injuries?
As with any traffic accident, a bus accident may be minor and involve nothing more than a fender bender that occurs at a low speed. However, the accident may be more severe and involve serious injuries. Riders might suffer from soft tissue injuries like whiplash to broken bones and head trauma. In 2017, approximately 25,000 individuals were injured as a result of a bus accident.
However, buses are more at risk of tipping or rolling over than passenger vehicles due to the nature of the vehicle. In addition, most buses lack safety restraint systems. Passengers are not secured in the event of an accident and therefore are more at risk of sustaining injuries.
When a person is involved in a bus accident, it must be determined who was at fault. It is obviously not the victim as he or she was a passenger at the time of the accident. However, numerous other parties may be named in a suit of this type. For instance, another driver may cause the collision or it may be the bus driver was at fault. Road conditions could play a role in the incident, or it might be the bus company did not properly maintain the vehicle. In certain cases, a government entity may own or operate the bus and this can lead to a whole new set of legal issues. Fortunately, the number of fatal bus crashes in 2017 declined slightly from the previous year. Hopefully, this is a sign that people are taking note of these accidents and working hard to prevent them from occurring.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Association, 229 fatal crashes involving buses occurred in 2017 with 232 buses involved in these accidents. In these crashes, 44 bus occupants lost their lives while 244 individuals outside of the bus lost their lives in the collisions. Be aware that the FMCA only looks at buses designed to carry nine or more people including the driver when evaluating fatal crashes involving buses. If the vehicle is meant to carry fewer individuals, it is not counted in these statistics.
Any person involved in a bus accident should seek medical treatment immediately. Injuries may not be apparent for a few hours, days, or weeks after the incident and problems caught early are often easier to treat. Once medical treatment has been obtained, a victim of a bus accident may wish to speak to an attorney. Doing so ensures he or she knows their rights at this time and how to proceed in the event problems do arise as a result of the collision. One can never know too much in this type of situation.