Bus accidents can happen for a number of reasons and on all types of buses, including motor coaches, school buses, public transit buses and shuttle buses that transport people to and from different venues such as hotels and airports. Each type of vehicle is likely to be at risk from different sources depending upon their purpose.
For example, buses that are transporting children to and from school are more likely to get into accidents as a result of driving in congested areas or with inexperienced or older drivers. Those that travel across country are more likely to be at risk for driver fatigue or mechanical difficulties.
Bus Driver Fatigue Causes Many Bus Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lack of sleep has become such a big problem in the United States that it is being called a public health epidemic, and drivers of buses are not immune from its impact. Whether sleeplessness is attributed to a physical problem such as obstructive sleep apnea or due to overwork, it can present a very real danger.
Drivers who have not had sufficient sleep have an increased risk for getting into an accident that can injure passengers. As a result, many bus companies are starting to employ devices that monitor whether a driver’s eyes are closing too rapidly and that will sound an alarm if this happens. Unfortunately, not all companies are using these and passengers are often at risk. This is important information for a bus accident attorney to know should an accident occur.
In many cases, buses end up getting involved in accidents because of road rage or aggressive driving. In some of these cases it is the bus driver who ends up using his vehicle as a weapon, while in many others another driver ends up getting angry at something that has happened with a bus and tries to cut the large vehicle off.
Buses travelling at high rates of speed can easily turn over, whether because their drivers are behaving aggressively or because they are trying to take evasive action. It is essential that drivers responsible for transporting large numbers of people exercise extreme care at all times.
In a number of recent cases it has been shown that a bus accident has been the result of a bus driver being distracted by a cell phone or some other type of electronic device or by a passenger on the bus.