On November 23, 2016 the first lawsuit was filed in connection with fatal bus accident in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Filed by the mother of an 8 year old survivor, the lawsuit names the bus driver as the responsible party and states his employer is also liable. The crash that has so far claimed the lives of six children and injured dozens more has sparked serious debate regarding common bus accident causes. Understanding possible contributing factors to these accidents and how such an accident could impact your life will help to determine how to proceed should you or someone you know be involved in a bus accident.
Bus Accident Statistics
In 2015 there were over 38,000 fatalities in the United States associated with motor vehicles. Of these deaths a total of 447 occurred in the state of Oregon. Despite a lack of seatbelts, school bus accident fatalities are quite rare. Between 2005 and 2014 there were 83 school bus related fatalities reported. Though these numbers illustrate how infrequently these accidents occur, it is important to remember the potential devastation a bus accident can cause. In 2012 a bus accident near Pendleton, Oregon was responsible for 23 deaths and over 60 injuries.
Weather Related Bus Accidents
When bus accidents are reported bad weather is often cited as a potential contributing factor. Heavy rain, sleet, or snow can all negatively affect a bus driver’s visibility or make it difficult for individuals driving other vehicles to maneuver around a bus. Additionally, ice and snow can also make the roadways treacherous impacting a bus’s ability to stop quickly and safely.
Driver and Maintenance Related Accidents
While there are times when outside factors such as weather, slick roadways, or other drivers can cause a bus accident; some bus accidents are caused by the negligence of the bus driver or the company responsible for bus maintenance. Bus drivers have been arrested for driving under the influence of illegal substances, prescription medication that impairs motor vehicle operation, or alcohol. Impairment caused by the use of drugs or alcohol creates a danger environment that increases the likelihood of a bus accident.
It is also possible for a bus driver who is not under the influence of any substance to endanger themselves and their passengers. Reckless or overly aggressive driving can create a situation that ultimately leads to an accident. In some cases simple distraction caused by cell phones or active passengers has taken a drivers attention away from the road at a critical moment. Companies responsible for the repair and maintenance of a bus can also cause an accident. Failing to perform routine service, making repairs using damaged equipment, and ignoring bus defects can endanger passengers and other drivers.
Being involved in a bus accident is a traumatic even if you are aware of many common accident causes. In some cases those who are not physically injured in the accident itself experience difficult recovering emotionally. Those who are injured in a bus accident and their loved ones must cope with difficult recovery periods, lost wages, expensive medical bills, pain and suffering. The law office of Keith Dozier is able to offer knowledgeable automotive accident consultation. Conveniently located in Lake Oswego, Oregon call them today at 503-594-0333 to schedule a consultation.