One of the most disturbing trends on America’s roadways is the problem of distracted drivers, and particularly drivers indulging in texting while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the leading cause of accidents is drivers being distracted while behind the wheel.
As dangerous as driving while distracted can be, the danger is greatly enhanced when it involves a vehicle that is particularly large or that is carrying a large number of passengers. In the case of buses, whether school bus, motor coaches, public transportation or tour buses, the situation involves both size and quantity.
Because bus drivers are responsible for transporting large numbers of passengers, they have a responsibility to ensure that they are operating their vehicles in the safest way possible, and the companies that own the buses are responsible for making sure that their drivers do not use electronics while driving and are trained to ignore distractions from passengers and other sources.
Failure to pay attention to laws about texting while driving, or to adhere to basic safety practices, can yield disastrous results. Many bus companies are now taking a hard line against drivers who text, making the practice cause for automatic firing, and alert passengers concerned for their own safety have begun reporting these incidents.
Injuries Resulting from Bus Accidents and Texting
Though each state has its own laws and regulations regarding texting and driving, the United States Department of Transportation has imposed federal laws on the practice, aimed directly at commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses. A commercial vehicle is defined as one that makes a profit by carrying people or goods.
Violation of these laws can result in federal finds and imprisonment penalties, but can also unfortunately result in injuries to passengers and those sharing the road with violators. In cases where death and or injuries result from a situation in which a bus driver has been found to have been texting while driving, both the driver and the bus owner are often held responsible for the damage that they have caused.
Holding Negligent Companies and Drivers Responsible
When passengers are injured as a result of a bus driver texting while driving, both the driver and the company for whom they work may be held responsible for the damages that result.