Frequently Asked Questions About Bus Rollover Accidents
A bus rollover is among the scariest accidents someone can be involved in, and they are almost always due to someone’s carelessness, whether it’s the driver, or another motorist. Common carriers maintain expansive fleets of enormous vehicles, and with so much mass involved, all it takes is a sharp turn to send them end over end. A slight bump, brakes applied too forcefully, a pedestrian suddenly appearing in the road, another car colliding into the side of the vehicle – all of these are common causes of a large passenger vehicle flipping over, and people inside typically have little time to brace for impact. And with the poor safety restraints that most vehicles come with now, it’s not surprising that these accidents can produce massive injuries.
WHO IS AT FAULT WHEN A BUS ROLLOVER ACCIDENT OCCURS?
Charter vehicle companies like Greyhound and other common carrier transporters have a duty to their passengers. As soon as someone pays for transport with the vehicle, the common carrier must ensure that the passenger arrives at their destination in the same shape they were in when they first climbed into the vehicle. If the common carrier fails to do so, they may be liable if injuries were caused by driver or company negligence.
Driver error is by far the most common cause of a bus rollover accident. Charter vehicle companies often push their drivers into schedules that invite dangerous levels of fatigue, and drivers falling asleep at the wheel is a real concern in the industry. In March 2011, a driver in New York fell asleep at the wheel before colliding with the median and tipping the vehicle, killing 15 and injuring several more. It is the common carrier’s job to maintain healthy driving schedules to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Common carrier transporters are also required to maintain their vehicles to ensure they operate safely at all times. Mechanical failure due to poor maintenance is one of the fastest growing reasons for major passenger vehicle accidents, as many companies have rushed to fill in the recent demand for more mass transit. Many of these transporters are looking for a quick buck and ignore basic safety procedures like inspecting vehicles for engine, brake, door, or tire issues.
WHAT KIND OF INJURIES CAN RESULT FROM A BUS ROLLOVER ACCIDENT?
Injuries from a bus rollover accident are placed into one of three categories:
- Intrusion – During a particularly violent crash, the vehicle’s structure may fail and collapse. If it does, the vehicle’s frame can crush passengers or pin them inside the vehicle, leaving them unable to escape.
- Ejection – Large passenger vehicles are surrounded by windows, and these can be a liability when a wreck occurs. Passengers may be thrown through the glass, causing severe lacerations, and into the road, where they can suffer additional trauma or be exposed to other traffic.
- Projection – Charter vehicles are filled with seats, support bars, and other metal or hard plastic surfaces. During a crash, a passenger may be thrown into them and suffer broken bones and traumatic brain injuries.
The damage caused by a bus wreck is often devastating. For the people inside, their lives may never be the same, and many victims will require the services of a personal injury attorney to support their recovery.