Bus Accidents: How Common are They Actually?
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Mon Jan 2017
It might seem like there is a more frequent occurrence of bus accidents. The most recent one was in East Brunswick. According to news reports, a school bus and New Jersey Transit bus collided on Route 18. Several were injured. Is this just the exception? Or, are bus accidents becoming more common?
One thing should be consoling. On a national basis, fatal accidents are rare on school buses. Rarely equates to an average of six students killed while a passenger on a school bus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that school buses are considered among the safest vehicles. Obviously, even the loss of one child’s life is an alarming statistic.
Statistics about Bus Accidents
According to statistics regarding New Jersey bus crashes in 2016, there were 38 accidents that involved a bus. Not all of the injured were on the bus. Here is a sampling of the accidents reported:
- Man attempting to wave down a bus was run over by it and suffered fatal injuries
- Multiple bus accidents at the Lincoln Tunnel, with many hurt
- School bus and passenger car collided. Driver of the car died as a result.
- Bus operator and passenger injured when bus hit street sweeper
- Car rear-ended bus and its driver suffered fatal injuries
Bus accidents happen for a variety of reasons. In some cases, bus crashes occur because the equipment was either poorly maintained or repaired. This could make the accident unavoidable.
Although bus operators are expected to follow rules concerning the number of hours they drive, some ignore them. Driving a bus may be secondary and necessary income. As a result, the driver may be fatigued and not alert.
Distracted driving is a factor in bus accidents. Some drivers have actually been spotted talking or texting on their cell phones while transporting passengers.
Unfortunately, some bus operators are too committed to keeping to their schedule. They may drive recklessly or aggressively. It could be as bad as running red lights and putting themselves and others in jeopardy.
If You are Involved in a Bus Accident
If you are involved in a bus accident, there are some details you should know. If you are on the bus and able to do so, you want to get as much information as possible about the accident. Where did it happen? Do you see documentation identifying the driver? Make a record of the bus number and take photographs if you are able to do so.
Make sure your name is listed when the bus company comes to take a report. It is not necessary to provide a statement. However, it is crucial that your identity is recorded.
If you are a pedestrian or in another vehicle involved in a bus accident, you should also ensure a record is made of the incident. Again, you are not required to make a statement to the bus company representative.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, it is important that you seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. There are different notification requirements for bus companies. For example, New Jersey Transit is considered part of a government agency and has strict notice requirements.
Were you hurt in an accident involving a bus? At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we have decades of experience helping personal injury claimants. Give us a call to learn about the procedures necessary to pursue legal action.