Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

A decade after recommendations were made for truck and bus safety, the conversation continues. As California injury attorneys, we are pleased that, at the very least, safety is being discussed.

The national forum on truck and bus crashes and safety began earlier this week in Washington, D.C. The two-day forum which convened at the National Transportation Safety Board goes through today. Live webcasts and other information can be found at the NTSB website.

The NTSB has been raising the level of awareness in the areas of truck and bus accident safety and the forum is intended to bring together industry experts including safety, regulatory and the trucking and busing industry to talk about the continued dangers of transportation. Long-standing recommendations have yet to be enacted or implemented.

The tragic bus accident that killed 15 passengers earlier this year in New York, is a sad ending to the many lives lost. Now it has been determined that the bus was traveling 78 miles per hour when it crashed and flipped. The wrongful death and injury lawyers of the California Injury Attorney Blog know that this indicates the accident could have been avoided.

This news was delivered last month by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) which found that the bus was traveling at the highest rate of speed possible for the vehicle only 45 seconds prior to its departure from I-95. At the time of the crash, the bus was traveling between the Bronx and a casino in eastern Connecticut.

In addition to the work of the NTSB in putting together the pieces of this tragedy, the New York State Police are involved in the investigation and have been interviewing witnesses and conducting studies of the crash. The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether the bus driver will be charged criminally.

The bus driver’s account of the accident included a claim that he was trying to avoid hitting a tractor-trailor that had passed him and veered towards the bus. And now it has been revealed that he had served time in prison for manslaughter and larceny convictions — his license has been suspended.

In fact there is no evidence that the accident happened the way the driver described it. Another truck driver came forward as a witness and has said that the tractor-trailer that is alleged to have swerved towards the bus, did not do so.

The investigation has revealed that the bus reached its fastest speed of 78 miles per hour in the 45 seconds before the crash. The speed limit was 55 miles per hour.

There is some thought that the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel of the bus according to some of the surviving passengers.
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Over a decade ago, the National Transportation Safety Board made recommendations for bus safety, but the Transportation Department did not implement them and Congress did not act either. Now that bus crashes have taken the lives of many from skiers to college baseball players to slot machine seekers — Congress is interested in safety legislation.

California bus accidents and deaths have taken a toll as well. In 2009, five people were killed and 38 injured in a tour bus accident involving mainly French nationals. In July 2010, a Greyhound bus traveling from Sacramento to LA ended up crashing with sixth deaths. These are only examples of what is becoming a common tragedy.

In fact, so many people have been killed or seriously injured in California and across the nation when a bus accident does occur, it is impossible to continue to ignore the safety issues. One basic recommendation has been around for a long time, installation of seatbelts in buses. Another recommendation includes the use of recorders that track how long a bus driver has been driving. Another still another calls for stronger roofs, windows that can be opened and more advanced glass windows that are less likely to injure passengers in an accident.