Bus Accidents

Bus accident claims can be complicated to file, because they involve not only the driver of the bus, but also the bus operator, maintenance and repair companies, government agencies and a number of other entities that may be liable in the accident.

There has been an explosion in bus travel in the United States over the past few years.  The recessionary economy, costly plane tickets, and limited rail connectivity have all contributed to an increase in the population of people choosing to buy a cheap bus ticket to get to their destination.

Unfortunately, this spike in bus passenger traffic has not exactly corresponded with an increase in bus operator oversight, stronger driver recruitment practices and other aspects that impact the safety of passengers.  In fact, over the last few years, there have been a series of fatal and severe injurious bus accidents reported around the country.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is focusing on a number of issues that impact bus passenger safety, including the operation of buses by fatigued, overworked drivers, oversight of bus operators and other issues.

Causes of Bus Accidents

Driver error is one of the major causes of bus accidents in Massachusetts.  These errors are usually caused by drivers who are simply not confident enough to handle a massive, heavy vehicle that can weigh thousands of pounds.  Bus operators have a responsibility to hire experienced, skilled and trained drivers, and failure to comply with hiring requirements can place passengers at risk.  All drivers must be trained according to the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

A number of recent bus accidents across the country have been traced to driver fatigue.  This is a serious problem plaguing the bus industry, because drivers are under severe pressure to make multiple trips in order to pad the company’s coffers.  A tired driver is much more likely to doze off the wheel.  Even if the driver does not fall asleep while driving, he may make serious errors that increase the risk of an accident.

Bus operators are under a responsibility to maintain their fleet.  Companies that outsource the maintenance of their fleets to other firms must make sure that these companies don’t skimp on maintenance and repair activities.  Defective brakes, wheels, tires and other components are responsible for many bus accidents occur every year.

Parties That Can Be Named in a Bus Accident Claim

Your bus accident claim can name the driver of the bus, the bus operator, maintenance or repair companies that were responsible for maintaining the bus, and state and local agencies responsible for design, construction and maintenance of roads.

John J. Sheehan is a Boston bus accident lawyer, dedicated to the legal representation of victims of bus accidents across Massachusetts.