Many people throughout southern California rely on public transportation, such as buses, to get to and from work and many other destinations. Buses are not only convenient, but also economical and relieve passengers of the burden of driving in traffic or other stressful conditions. However, how safe are city bus passengers?
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in 2009, there were 9,000 injury crashes with 20,000 people suffering injuries and 221 fatal crashes with 254 people suffering fatalities in which 841,993 buses were registered. The FMCSA is in charge of creating, enforcing, and monitoring specific safety rules and regulations for all commercial vehicle drivers, bus drivers included. These rules relate to hours-of-service (HOS), vehicle maintenance, controlled substance and alcohol use, and other factors that help prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, bus part failure, and drugged or drunk driving. However, despite these rules, some bus drivers have failed to uphold their duties by being negligent, reckless, and/or driving distracted.
While bus crashes in California and throughout the nation occur less frequently than crashes involving small passenger cars, the injuries they cause to occupants of the bus and others on the road can be devastating. The lack of seat belts contributes to far too many catastrophic injuries and deaths suffered by passengers of buses. Although city buses in California are not required to have seat belts, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), California and four other states (Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, and New York) require that school buses have seat belts. This raises the question of why all buses aren’t required to have seat belts to increase passenger safety. Bus passenger ejection, where a person is thrown out of the bus due to the impact of the crash, or even passengers being tossed around inside of the bus, can cause serious injury and even death.
The San Diego bus accident attorneys at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley have dedicated years of hard work to protecting the rights of those injured because of another’s negligence. Providing our clients with the compassion and quality legal assistance they need, our law firm is armed to win. If you have been injured in a bus crash, we may be able to help you hold negligent parties liable. Call us today at 213-514-8332 for a free consultation.