Personal Injury Lawyer

There are several different types of buses, including municipal transit, tour buses, airport shuttles, and school buses. Each type serves a purpose, but they all have the intention of transporting a big group of people at one time to a specific destination. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that the term “bus” is defined as a vehicle that can transport nine or more people. Even though there are thousands of buses on the roadways across the United States, bus accidents are not actually very common. However, when they do occur, those who were riding the bus can still endure very serious injuries. 

What factors contribute to bus accidents?

Most buses do not have seatbelts, as they are created with the concept of “compartmentalizing”, where passengers are protected within the narrow spaces between the seats. More often than not, a bus driver is going to get their passengers to a destination safely. That is also why if a bus accident does occur, passengers may not know what to do since it is such a rare situation. When bus accidents occur, they can have devastating consequences. Here are a few factors that make bus accidents unique compared to other vehicle collisions: 

  • Buses are much larger than other vehicles. In other vehicle collisions, there are often two drivers and maybe a few passengers involved at the maximum. Due to the sheer size of a bus, though, collisions have the capacity to impact dozens of passengers at one time. Depending on the use, a bus can weigh around 15,000 to 38,000 pounds. Other vehicles on average weigh approximately 3,500 pounds.
  • Buses have risks that other cars may not. Similar to trucks, buses have a longer stopping and starting distance compared to smaller cars, which can increase the risk for rear end collisions. Bus drivers must be skilled in knowing safe distances between themselves and other drivers on the road in order to keep passengers safe. Additionally, buses are more likely to rollover in the event of an accident. And since buses may be full of loose items, they can become projectiles if a collision were to unfold, causing passengers even more serious injuries.
  • Passengers aren’t the only potential victims.
    Other drivers on the road, bicyclists, and pedestrians can become enveloped in a bus accident simply by being nearby on the road when an incident occurs. Because a bus is so large and powerful, passengers and others close by can be devastatingly killed in the collision.
  • Those who are entering or exiting the bus may be at risk. Adults and children who are waiting at a bus stop may get hurt if they are standing too close to the curb, don’t look both ways before crossing in front of the bus, or if the driver doesn’t take special care to ensure no one else is near the exterior of the bus before driving off. 

If you or someone you love was injured in a bus accident, contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Johnston Martineau, LLP, immediately for more information on getting compensated for your injuries.