What Causes Bus Accidents?
Travel may be back to normal after pandemic lockdowns, but large buses aren’t any safer than they were before. In fact, the number of serious bus accidents has increased 25 percent since 2010. Usually, the parties, including the victims and the tortfeasor (negligent actor) are from different counties in California, or even from different states. Additionally, if a transit authority or other government entity owned the bus, these cases have another layer.
All these complexities mean that only an experienced Carlsbad bus accident lawyer should handle such matters. Attorneys use their litigation skills to shepherd bus crash cases through the complex legal system. Then, attorneys use their negotiation skills to successfully resolve these matters out of court, avoiding the need for an emotionally charged trial that has an uncertain outcome. This process begins with understanding the root causes of bus crashes, as outlined below.
Buses are almost as big and heavy as semi trucks. They’re also much harder to maneuver around curves and corners, especially on city streets that weren’t designed to accommodate such large vehicles. Additionally, bus drivers must adhere to very tight schedules that don’t leave much room for traffic jams, heavy rain, and other poor environmental conditions.
This combination encourages bus drivers to speed. That’s especially true if the bus driver is an experienced operator. These drivers often have a false sense of security behind the wheel.
Since buses are so large, a tiny bit of extra speed could be very dangerous. Velocity multiples the risk of a collision as well as the force in a wreck. In other words, if drivers speed, they’re more likely to cause more serious wrecks.
Tailgating is another example of aggressive driving. It also illustrates the different duty of care for bus drivers. Noncommercial drivers must normally maintain about a two second following distance. For bus and truck drivers, this distance increases to about eight seconds.
Driver error causes about 98 percent of bus crashes in California. A defective product causes most of the rest of them.
Defective tires are the best example. Buses travel so many miles and are so large that the tires absorb a lot of wear and tear. As time goes by, minor problems get much bigger, and they could cause a serious accident.
Usually manufacturers are strictly liable for injuries that a design defect or manufacturing defect causes. Frequently, an Oceanside personal injury lawyer must overcome some additional procedural obstacles in these cases.
Excessive fatigue, driver distraction, and a driver’s medical condition are the most common bus driver impairments in California.
Bus driver fatigue often has little or nothing to do with the amount of sleep the driver had the night before. Most of these drivers are behind the wheel early in the morning or late at night. Most people are naturally drowsy at these hours, especially if their work schedules recently changed.
Bus drivers have difficult jobs. They must not only drive the vehicle safely. They must also monitor passenger safety and often serve as a tour guide. That’s too many tasks to perform while a 50,000-pound vehicle is in motion.
Moderate and major medical conditions impair drivers. Cold and flu symptoms, like watery eyes and coughing, reduce driving ability by as much as 50 percent. As mentioned, bus drivers have such difficult jobs that they need every ounce of energy they can muster. Epilepsy, heart disease, and other serious medical conditions could cause the driver to suddenly lose consciousness behind the wheel.
Count on a Detail-Oriented San Diego County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Carlsbad, contact the Pursley Law Firm. We routinely handle matters throughout the Golden State.