Public transportation offers a convenient way to get to where we’re going without spending gas money or fighting with traffic jams. While we expect efficient and safe service, accidents do happen. Bus accidents account for approximately four percent of all vehicular crashes every year.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand what your rights are in the event you are a victim in a bus crash. Large bus companies tend to act fast, which is why our Southern Illinois bus accidents lawyers at Prince Law Firm are ready when you call.
Bus Accident Facts and Statistics
The following facts and statistics are courtesy of the 2016 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Report and the 2015 Illinois Depart of Transportation Crash Facts and Statistics Report.
National Bus Accident Facts and Stats
- A bus is defined as a motor vehicle capable of transporting nine or more people, including the driver.
- In 2016, there were a total of 888,907 registered buses on the road.
- 14,000 bus accidents resulted in injuries.
- There was a total of 257 fatal bus crashes.
- 49 of those fatalities were of bus occupants.
- Of the 295 total bus accident fatalities that year, 190 occurred on intercity and school buses, 73 occurred on city/commuter buses, and 32 happened on other buses.
Illinois Bus Accident Facts and Stats
- In 2015, the majority of bus crashes only resulted in property damage.
- There were a reported 1,693 bus accidents.
- 177 of those accidents resulted in injury.
- The majority of bus accidents go unreported because bus companies benefit financially from keeping their crash statistics down.
Types of Buses
While all buses get us from point A to point B, there are different types of buses that serve different purposes.
Charter Buses. Charter buses are used in conjunction with an itinerary and are a form of private transportation. They get cargo or people from one place to another for a single fee. The trips can be long-distance. The buses may have electrical outlets, sleeping arrangements, or restrooms.
City/Commuter Buses. A city or commuter bus offers short-distance public transportation options. These buses are often large, provide standing and sitting room, and have multiple boarding and exiting doors. These are often used for people traveling to and from work.
Intercity Buses. Intercity buses, like Greyhound, are similar to charter buses; however, they are public. They carry passengers longer distances than city or commuter buses.
School Buses. School buses are used to transport children from their homes, or near their homes, to their school. They are also used for transportation during field trips and sporting events.
Causes of Bus Accidents
While there are a variety of reasons bus accidents happen, there are trends in the reports cited above that show certain factors play a more frequent role.
Bus Company Negligence
Bus companies are required to maintain and inspect their buses to ensure they are safe for all passengers. In the event a bus company neglects their bookkeeping, inspection protocols, or federal regulations, serious accidents can happen.
Driver negligence may be related to fatigue, distraction, or impairment. Bus drivers are often under strict time restraints, especially on long-distance trips; so they may decide to forgo rest in order to get farther. Falling asleep at the wheel can be deadly.
If a bus driver is distracted by a phone or what the passengers are doing, their full attention won’t be on the road. And while a driver of any kind should never drive under the influence, there have been instances where bus drivers have been found to be driving after drinking or using drugs.
While rare, inclement weather like severe rain or snow can lead to bus turnovers. The hazardous weather can take control away from the driver.
Some of the most common bus accidents happen when a bus driver tries to make a left turn. This is because of the bus’s blind spots. Bus drivers are trained to lean forward and backward to eliminate the blind spot. If a driver is unable to move, chooses not to, or was not trained properly a collision may occur.
Protecting Your Rights with a Southern Illinois Bus Accident Lawyer
In the event you or a loved one are injured or killed in a bus accident, it’s imperative the negligent party be held responsible for their actions. With the proper legal representation, you may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, or wrongful death. Contact our Marion, IL bus accident lawyers today for a free evaluation of your claim.