Last month, a charter bus accident occurred near Laredo, Texas when the driver lost control going approximately 65 miles per hour and the bus rolled over, killing eight passengers and injuring 44. It is being called one of the deadliest crashes in Texas since 2008.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the deadly bus accident and the initial report shows there were no other cars involved in the wreck.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
While the number of car crashes that occur every year is increasing, the number of public transportation vehicle accidents remains relatively low. However, due to the size and the number of passengers on board, bus accidents can be catastrophic. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, approximately 24,000 people are injured from bus accidents each year. Bus accidents are usually caused by the following:
- Poor road conditions
- Mechanical malfunctions
- Weight distribution issues
- Poorly maintained busses
- Driver error
Unfortunately, driver error is the most common cause of bus accidents. This occurs most often with drivers who do not receive proper training and aren’t taught where the bus’s blind spots are, how to manage wide turns or how to control the bus’s speed. In other instances, drivers log more hours than is legally allowed and can become fatigued, putting both the passengers and other drivers at risk. Some bus drivers have caused accidents due to intoxication as well as distracted driving.
Equipment malfunction is another common cause of bus accidents. Buses are particularly expensive to maintain and it is not uncommon for transportation companies to overlook problems in hopes of saving on costs. Preventative maintenance is crucial in helping to reduce the likelihood of bus accidents.
What to Do After a Bus Accident
If the worst has happened and you are involved in a bus accident, it is important to first seek medical attention for all injuries. Afterwards, you absolutely must file a report with the Austin Police Department. If you can, try to take photos of the accident and gather witness information from anyone who saw your accident. Then, you should contact an experienced bus accident lawyer to investigate the cause of the accident and help you understand what your rights are in the situation.