Every year, approximately 250 people are killed in bus crashes. Another 24,000 are injured. Because of the size and bulk of buses, there are several blind spots, making it difficult for the bus driver to see other vehicles around him on the road. One of the most common reasons for these crashes is the bus driver’s failure to see another car or truck. Other factors that can contribute to a bus crash include lack of training for drivers or poor maintenance of the bus fleets. This is especially true for many of the new bus companies that offer discounted rates, but often don’t stay in business too long.
One of the most deadly types of bus crashes is a rollover crash. Because of the size and the way buses are set up to hold passengers, they can be killed or seriously injured by being flung around the bus, items in the bus hitting or falling on them, or the roof of the bus collapsing. There is also the risk of being either partially or entirely ejected from the bus during a rollover.
Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced several proposed changes to commercial bus testing regulations to help keep passengers safe. The new regulations would apply to any new buses manufactured.
For testing, the NHTSA proposes that the bus will be put on a flat, raised location and then tipped over onto a hard surface. In order to pass the test, the following criteria need to have been met:
- There is enough space around a passenger area to keep them protected.
- All of the bus’ seats, luggage racks, and glazing on window remain in place. Nothing is to come loose from its mountings.
- During the test, all of the bus’ emergency exits should remain closed, however, once the test is over, all exits should be able to be easily opened.
If you or a member of your family has been injured in a bus accident, contact a dedicated Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.