What Normally Causes a Charter Bus Crash?
A charter bus crash has the potential to result in a major tragedy, as dozens of people may be involved in the accident. These vehicles are responsible for transporting a lot of people, usually over long distances, and they can be on the road for hours at a stretch. And because they are extremely large and heavy, the driver must remain in complete control at all times. Unfortunately, lapses in attention, poor maintenance, and dangerous road conditions are all common, and they are all enough to send a large passenger vehicle careening out of control.
Large passenger vehicles typically weigh 10 or more tons, and this is a lot of mass to keep harnessed on the road. Anything that forces the driver to make a quick move is liable to cause this weight to shift, and in the hands of anyone but the most skilled driver, this usually means a wreck. In many instances, though, the cause of the accident is the fault of the driver or the company in charge of the vehicle.
Driver inattention and lack of ability are primary factors in a number of these accidents, as drivers are often expected to travel long distances and operate the vehicle for many hours at a time. Fatigue is typically the reason for driver inattention, and federal regulations require drivers to receive a certain amount of rest weekly. If an employer is pushing their drivers too hard in this regard, it is considered negligent.
Before a driver can get behind the wheel of a large passenger vehicle, they must receive their commercial driver’s license (CDL), and usually attain a passenger endorsement on their license as well. To secure a CDL, the applicant must score at least an 80 on a state-administered test and demonstrate ability in handling air brakes. It is the job of a potential employer to verify that a driver has a current CDL, but even this simple requirement is often overlooked during hiring. And a CDL is not enough for a driver to take to the road right away. For most routes, drivers are expected to receive several weeks of training, depending on the complexity of the route. If urban driving will be required, the driver must be prepared for dense road conditions. A charter bus crash inside the city is often due to a lack of training, as the driver is not prepared to yield properly or pick up passengers safely.
Of course, the company that owns the vehicles must keep them in good operating condition, inspecting their engines, brakes, tires and doors regularly for any issues. Brake, engine and tire failure are discovered in the wake of many accidents, and they can be prevented with standard maintenance procedures.
A bus accident can result in serious injuries, including injuries that linger for the remainder of a victim’s life. Recovering from these injuries is typically expensive, especially if a victim can no longer work or perform simple day to day tasks. For these people, a legal settlement may be the only way to handle medical bills and other expenses, so consulting with an experienced attorney is considered by many to be a top priority in the aftermath of a wreck.