Bus-ted: Dangerous Risks That Are Common in Public Transportation
Buses and other city transportation services provide vital public transportation to popular destinations around the city. They allow the community to save money on transportation costs while also reducing traffic to make roads safer. However, despite serving a crucial community need, buses regrettably also create a public hazard.
The Bus Stops Here!…Or Is it Here?…Or Maybe Here…No, Wait. Back There
Although buses are wonderful in getting passengers here and there on a timely schedule, there are several dangerous aspects that seem to affect every (public and school) bus in the city. These common features cause them to become potentially hazardous to other drivers, pedestrians, and riders alike. They include the following:
- Passenger distractions. If you’ve ever taken a family road trip you know how annoyingly loud a car can get. Now, imagine if that car could hold 60 of your family members: how annoying is it now? Bus drivers must deal with the constant distracting buzz of passengers all day long. As you may imagine, the unending distractions can undercut his driving skills and cause a collision or a pedestrian runover.
- Monotonous routes. Bus drivers are traveling the city streets for hours on end, usually circling the same route over and over again. Not only can eight hours of city driving be stressful, but it can also be extremely boring. As a result, bus drivers can become fatigued and lose focus, increasing their risk of an accident.
- Stopping rules and schedules. Bus drivers must follow a strict time schedule—which can sometimes result in speeding to keep on time. Additionally, bus drivers must also pay particular attention to when and where they stop. Braking distances and rules vary depending on the bus (school buses have additional traffic safety guidelines for both drivers and surrounding traffic), and sometimes a sudden stop is required. However, if the driver isn’t prepared he could roll the bus, while following traffic can easily slam into a bus that stops without warning. Furthermore, as bus drivers weave their way through traffic, nearby passenger vehicle drivers often make dangerous passing maneuvers which can easily result in collisions.
Traffic laws and a good traffic injury lawyer may provide some security if a bus driver negligently injures you or a loved one. However, you can take steps to avoid a tragedy before it occurs by following these simple safety tips:
- Pay attention. You should always be aware of buses when they are near you and your car. Doing this will allow you the opportunity to avoid them, should they create a hazard on the road.
- Be cautious. Using extreme caution and allowing enough space for a bus to maneuver freely will prevent many of the hazards that arise from negligence and poor focus.
- Plan ahead. Before getting behind the wheel, familiarize yourself with the bus routes that intersect your intended travel route. This will allow you to anticipate buses and the stops they’ll make so you can plan accordingly.
When you're driving your own vehicle or walking around the city, avoiding bus encounters altogether is the safest way to prevent injury. However, this is not always possible—as evident with the fact that over 100,000 bus accidents occur each year in the United States.
Help You Need to Get Out From Under the Bus
Insurance companies are quick to take advantage and blame victims of bus accidents in order to minimize settlements. Don’t let them throw you under the bus! If you or someone you love has been injured in a public transportation accident, you may be able to recover considerable damages to compensate you for property damage or personal injury. Consult an experienced local attorney today to learn more about your rights and legal options.