Every day, millions of people in California take a bus. Be it to work, to school, for an outing, or as the start of an adventure. Most of these people never consider that they could be involved in a bus accident, and while they are less common than auto accidents, they do occur and are often catastrophic.
Many factors contribute to bus accidents. However, there are several common causes often cited in bus accident claims. These include:
- Driver Fatigue: Bus drivers who do not get enough quality sleep are at risk of drowsy driving. Drowsy driving can impair the bus driver's focus, responses, and decision-making.
- Speeding: Bus drivers are required to drive a safe speed for the speed limit, traffic, and weather conditions. The maximum speed in California is 70 miles-per-hour. In areas where there is no posted maximum speed, bus drivers should maintain 55 mph.
- Distracted Driving: Bus drivers are vulnerable to the same distractions as any other driver, including cell phones, eating, drinking, monitoring a GPS, changing dials, etc. Bus drivers are also vulnerable to distractions caused by passengers.
- Aggressive Driving: Bus drivers work under a lot of pressure, and they often work long shifts. That can lead to stress and reckless behaviors, including aggressive driving. Also, other drivers being aggressive toward the bus can cause the bus driver to overcorrect, swerve, or brake suddenly, all of which can be dangerous.
- Poor Bus Condition: Bus companies, school systems, and private owners are responsible for adequately maintaining the buses under their care. Federal law requires bus companies to keep records of routine maintenance, recalls, and repairs. Failure to properly maintain a bus can contribute to accidents.
- Driving Under the Influence. As in any other situation that involves driving, mixing this activity with alcohol or drugs is definitely not a good idea. Some drivers may ingest these substances to stay awake, or as a way to manage stress during their work hours. However, driving under the influence of any substance increases the chance of having an accident.
- Poor Road Conditions. Poor road conditions, whether due to design flaws or poor maintenance, can pose a great danger to buses. Being such large vehicles, they may have more problems maneuvering, or avoiding any obstacle as quickly as a car would. State and federal agencies in charge of the proper maintenance of public roads could be held liable for an accident.
- Other Drivers: One of the primary hazards for bus drivers and passengers is other drivers. When other drivers are reckless, they put their lives and that of others near them in danger. Other drivers are a hazard to buses by:
- Driving too close to the rear of the bus
- Trying to overtake a bus traveling in the same direction
- Slamming on the brakes in front of a bus
Knowing the most common causes of a bus accident can help us be on the lookout for them. If you wind up in an accident of this type and need legal help and representation, contact the Los Angeles bus accident attorneys at Vaziri Law Group Personal Injury Attorneys.
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