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Virginia Bus Accident Proves That Fatigued Commercial Drivers Can Kill

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While 37-year-old Kin Yiu Cheung, the driver in last month’s fatal Virginia bus accident, has been charged with four counts of felony involuntary manslaughter, many safety advocates are wondering who is more to blame, the bus driver or the discount bus industry in which Cheung worked.

According to many experts in the industry, the way low-cost bus services operate often leads to dangerously tired bus drivers. In the Bowling Green, VA, bus accident, Cheung tried to stay awake with caffeine and chats on his cell phone, but still couldn’t manage to stay awake at the end of an overnight seven-hour shift. In another bus accident that took place earlier this spring, a different driver is also facing criticism that he was fatigued when the bus ran off of the road, killing 15 passengers.

All in all, authorities believe that between 13 and 31 percent of commercial vehicle accidents are caused by fatigue.

What can we do to fix the problem? Many believe that federal safety regulations should be tightened and more strictly enforced. Others think that bus companies have to step up and change their operations to prevent future accidents. Currently, many bus drivers work multiple jobs to get by, and some drivers are called to a long job with less than an hour’s notice.

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