Many people have the misconception that travelling by bus is one of the safer means of transportation – they are larger and more sturdy than motorcars, and don’t even legally have to have seatbelts. It is true that there are few fewer bus accident incidents than motor car accidents, however when a bus accident does occur, it tends to be a tragedy that can claim tens of lives.
Although buses are often regarded as safe, bus accidents remain a significant cause of death in many states in the United States. School children who travel to school on buses are particularly vulnerable, and protestors are attempting to pressure the government into passing a law requiring all school buses to be equipped with seatbelts, a measure that could save hundreds of children’s lives each year.
When a bus accident occurs, often the biggest question is who, or what caused the accident, and how can such accidents be prevented in the future? Bus drivers should be well qualified and experienced individuals, as they are responsible for the lives of every passenger on their bus. In certain situations, such as negligent driving, the bus driver may be determined liable for an accident, and can be charged in a court of law for negligence or even culpable homicide.
Bus drivers need to have sufficient qualifications, as set out by state and federal law, and should ensure that their buses are well equipped and safe on the road. If the driver is found to be in violation of any of these requirements, or is found to have been driving recklessly when the accident occurred, then they may be held accountable for the accident and any fatalities or injuries that result from it.
Laws that protect bus drivers are complicated, and if you are considering filing a case claiming that the bus driver is liable for an accident, it is advised to consult a qualified, professional bus accident attorney who has a good knowledge of the state and federal laws involving bus drivers.
If a bus accident does occur, the first step is for the driver to file an accident report with the appropriate authorities, such as the police or highway patrol. If you are a witness to an accident, it is a good idea to take down information such as the license plate number and driver’s license number of the people involved in an accident, as this information may be useful if the case goes to court.