Whether you want to travel to work, or perhaps you want to move outside the state to run some errands, you can rely on buses as your mode or means of transportation. While buses are not as fast as modern trains or even planes, most people consider this mode of transportation the safest compared to railroad or air transportation.
In addition to being a safe mode of transportation, traveling using a bus is convenient and cost-friendly, especially if you want to travel in groups. Unfortunately, despite being a safe mode of transportation, bus accidents are not uncommon.
Due to the volume of traffic and several inherent risk factors in this mode of transportation, bus accidents occur more frequently than you can imagine. When a bus accident occurs, passengers onboard and other people involved in the collision can suffer devastating and life-changing injuries, including traumatic brain injury.
If you have sustained any injury in a bus collision, our injury attorneys at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm can assist you in seeking the deserved damages. We understand bus accident statistics are currently on the rise and will do everything possible to hold the at-fault party accountable for all your losses.
Bus Accidents at a Glance
In addition to helping students in various learning institutions travel to and from school, and other people commute to work, bus travel serves several tourists and other bus users daily. Due to the numerous uses of buses, it is no wonder they are some of the most common vehicles on our roads.
Some of the most common types of buses on our roads include school buses, tour buses, shuttle buses, motor coaches, mini-buses, and transit buses. To stop or curb these fatal bus accidents, fleet owners, manufacturers, vehicle drivers, and transportation companies must comply with strict safety standards.
In addition to ensuring their vehicles are well maintained and roadworthy, transportation companies must ensure their drivers are well-trained before hiring them. With buses being the main mode of transport for most people, their traffic on our roads is also a major contributing factor to most accidents.
Due to the weight difference between a bus and a standard car, a collision can result in catastrophic and life-altering injuries. Because these accidents are often complex and different from other standard car accidents in the eyes of the law, you could want to retain the services of an attorney.
In addition to being your legal counsel, your attorney can investigate the accident case and prepare your compensation claim while you are recuperating at home or in the hospital. Read on for more insight on bus accident facts and statistics.
Various Research Findings and Statistics on School Bus Accidents Nationwide
Statistically speaking, taking a bus to school is eight times safer for minors or children than riding a standard passenger vehicle. Unfortunately, school bus accidents are not uncommon despite being one of the safest modes of transportation.
In March 2020, three school vehicle collisions occurred in the Southwest Las Vegas Valley. Although these buses did not have students onboard, two staff personnel sustained injuries.
According to a report compiled by the NSC (National Safety Council), school vehicle-related collisions caused the deaths of 117 people in 2018 countrywide. NSC obtained this data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA typically considers all automobiles used as school vehicles when documenting these collisions, regardless of the model or design. Most bus accidents involve children boarding or alighting from their school buses.
Because of the safety standards associated with school vehicles, over 450,000 school vehicles annually carry nearly 23.5 million school-going pupils and students to and from various learning institutions nationwide. Each year, these vehicles cover over four billion miles transporting students and pupils to and from their schools, school outings, and other student-related events.
As far as school vehicle collisions are concerned, the fatality rate stands at two (2) deaths per every hundred (100) miles covered. However, the mortality rate for standard vehicles is 1.5 deaths per hundred (100) miles traveled or covered.
After more than twelve schoolchildren sustained injuries in a bus accident in Las Vegas in May 2017, former Governor Brian Sandoval signed a law requiring all new school buses to have lap belts.
By requiring new school vehicles to have these crucial safety features, we joined other states in the country that require all school vehicles to have proper safety belts to ensure passengers onboard are safe, including California.
Advocates of this safety feature in buses argue that safety belts can prevent a child from sustaining severe injuries in a collision. However, some critics argue that this safety feature in school vehicles is not viable because some children could find it challenging to unbuckle these belts, making them trapped inside the bus in case of a collision or accident.
While that could make sense to some, most people agree that seat belt advantages in school buses outweigh the possible disadvantages.
A report tabulated by the NHTSA regarding school bus-related crashes reveals that about 301 school pupils died in severe bus collisions between the years 2006 and 2015 countrywide. Of all these deaths, 54 people were passengers of school buses, and the remaining 137 were passengers of other standard vehicles. Other facts revealed by this NHTSA report include:
- Most pupils involved in school bus accidents were between five (5) to thirteen (13) years old.
- Over the last decade, NHTSA has received reports of about 117 deadly collisions involving school bus accidents countrywide.
- Most of these accidents occurred in the evening hours as pupils were leaving school and morning hours as they were reporting to school.
While these accidents are legally complex, a reliable attorney can represent your child in court if he/she has sustained an injury in a bus collision to recover compensatory damages, including pain and suffering.
Bus Collision Statistics and Facts for Bus Types
Other buses, like public transit vehicles and tour buses, are still safer than standard passenger vehicles. However, these buses are more likely to cause significant property damage and fatalities than standard passenger cars due to their size and weight.
According to an FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) report, there were 17,678 bus collision cases nationwide in 2019. However, the great news is that these accidents have reduced by 1.1% compared to statistics from the previous year, 2018. As of June 30, 2020, the FMCSA had received only 3717 bus collision cases.
The FMCSA report also revealed that only 280 people succumbed to death from these bus collisions. However, the great news of the situation is that these numbers dropped by 18% compared to 2018 stats or statistics, where a total of 312 people were reported dead.
According to the same report, 17699 people suffered severe injuries from bus collision cases, which is also a significant drop from the 18629 bus accident reports FMCSA received in 2018. As you can see from the above statistics and facts, bus accidents are not uncommon, and when they occur, several people are likely to sustain injuries because they carry more than seven people.
Fortunately, you could qualify for compensatory damages if you have sustained an injury in a bus accident. To stand a chance of obtaining maximum compensation from your claim, you should speak with a skilled injury attorney. An experienced attorney can help you prepare a winning compensation claim and represent your best interest in civil court for the best possible outcome.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents or Collisions According to Statistics
According to a recent research study conducted by the National Transit Database, the number of bus collisions that occur every day across the country continues to rise, and there is no concrete evidence that this worrying trend will change soon. These accidents' economic and social impacts are also becoming more serious daily.
However, the great news is that scholars and society have focused their attention on bus accidents or collisions and their life-changing outcomes. That means there is some hope that bus safety research and studies could change or reduce the most common causes of these catastrophic vehicle accidents.
According to most recently concluded research studies on bus accident occurrences, bus collisions or accidents occur due to various reasons, including:
Undoubtedly, distracted driving is one of the primary causes of bus collisions countrywide. As the name implies, distracted driving occurs when a driver engages in distracting activities while on the wheel. Distracting activities are any activity that can take the driver's attention away from the road, for example:
- Texting and calling on the phone
- Changing radio frequency
If the cause of the bus collision was distracted driving, the bus operator or driver should be liable for all the injuries and other losses stemming from the accident.
According to research studies by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), over twenty-eight (28) percent of all catastrophic bus accidents nationwide are due to impaired driving. Hence, it is no surprise that impaired or intoxicated driving is the leading cause of most bus collisions in this city of fun and many pleasures.
Because of the inherent dangers of these big rigs, drivers of buses and most commercial vehicles must observe a stricter standard of care while on the wheel than other standard car drivers. Therefore, when alcohol or drugs impair them, observing this standard of care will be difficult because alcohol impairs a driver's physical and mental ability to drive a vehicle like a cautious person.
Despite it being a crime, it is unfortunate that some drivers will disregard other people's safety and drive with alcohol in their system. If you or someone dear to you has sustained an injury in a bus accident caused by impaired driving, you could be eligible for compensatory damages.
Violation of Traffic Laws
When a bus driver violates any traffic law, there are chances that he/she can cause an accident. For instance, a bus driver can cause an accident when he/she fails or refuses to yield the right of way to other motorists and pedestrians. According to a traffic report by Nevada Current, there is a worrying rise in pedestrian accidents and mortalities.
While these kinds of bus accidents are uncommon, a bus can hit or injure a pedestrian standing near a parking lot. That mostly occurs when a bus driver fails to park within the designated marked spaces of the parking lot and drives into the walkway.
If you were knocked down by a bus while standing or walking on the walkway or sidewalk, the driver should be liable for your injuries for failing to observe traffic laws.
Bus Mechanical Failure
While bus companies have a legal responsibility to ensure their buses are well-maintained and in good condition, some companies can disregard this responsibility to maximize their profits. Therefore, if the cause of the bus accident that led to your injuries is mechanical failure or inadequate maintenance, the bus company (driver's employer) should be liable for your losses.
Since a bus driver's salary depends on the total number of hours he/she works, some drivers can overwork or stay on the road for extended periods to earn more. Unfortunately, when they do, they put other road users and pedestrians at risk of injury because fatigue slowly lowers their attentiveness on the road, causing fatal accidents.
According to a report by the National Academies Press, 13 percent of most bus accidents across the country are due to driver fatigue. When a driver's fatigue is the contributing factor or the cause of the bus accident that led to your injuries, the bus company could be liable for your injuries for allowing the driver to drive without resting as required.
Poor Road Conditions
Another finding or conclusion on the cause of bus accidents countrywide is that poor road conditions or unmaintained roads also caused them. According to NHTSA (National Highway Transport and Safety Authority), only 25 percent of all roads are in excellent condition countrywide.
That means most roads are unroadworthy, and there are chances that the bus accident that led to your injuries was due to bad road conditions like potholes.
Apart from the above-explained common causes of bus accidents, other possible contributing factors or causes include:
- Untrained or inexperienced bus drivers
- Blind spots
- Bad weather conditions, for example, rain, makes the road slippery
- Unruly passengers
- Other motorists' errors
Determining the cause of the bus accident is vital to identifying the liable party to sue for your damages once the dust settles. Since several parties could come into play in this kind of accident, you could want to hire an attorney. A skilled attorney will access the bus accident case and interview eyewitnesses to determine the precise cause of the accident.
Common Injuries You Could Sustain in a Bus Accident
As earlier stated, bus accidents often result in catastrophic and deadly injuries. Unlike passenger cars, most buses do not have safety gear or features like seatbelts and airbags in passenger seats. Due to the absence of these crucial safety features, passengers will often fall and slide on the bus's metallic floor when an accident occurs.
According to most bus accident statistics, the most common injuries you are likely to sustain in a bus collision or accident include:
Head and Spinal Cord Injury
Due to the significant impact of bus collisions and the absence of seat belts, passengers onboard can experience significant forces and traumas, leading to head and spinal injuries. Head injuries often occur when your head whips around violently or hits the metallic bus seats. If the trauma or force caused by the bus collision is intense, your skull can break, leading to a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).
In other cases, you could also sustain a severe spinal injury, which often results in numbness and permanent paralysis.
Lacerations and Cuts
Like any other vehicle accident, a bus collision or crush can leave you with lacerations and deep cuts from shattered glass debris and metals, causing excessive blood loss that could be fatal without immediate medical attention. Severe tissue damage or lacerations could also lead to disfigurement and scarring, affecting your physical appearance.
Another common injury you can sustain in a bus accident is fractured or broken bones. Due to the force of a bus collision, every party involved, including passengers, cyclists, motorists, or pedestrians, can sustain severe injury.
Depending on the severity of the bus collision impact, these injuries could range from minor dislocations to severe bone breakage that necessitates specialized medical attention. Severely broken or fractured bones could also cause permanent disability.
A severe bus accident can also result in an explosion, especially when the extreme force of the collision causes the fuel tank to rupture. In addition to being painful and expensive to treat, burned skin can leave a permanent scar on your body, affecting your physical appearance forever.
Generally speaking, any severe vehicle accident, including a bus collision or crash, can leave you with internal injuries, necessitating emergency medical attention. The most common severe internal injuries you could sustain in a bus collision include:
- Kidney damage
- Internal hemorrhaging
- Punctured or collapsed lungs
- Liver lacerations
Since some of these internal injuries could be fatal, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a bus collision, even though you feel okay.
Liability Areas in Most Bus Accident Cases Per Statistics
Like car accidents, determining which party to sue for damages resulting from a bus accident can be challenging. You will depend on your attorney to evaluate the case and determine the liable or accountable party to sue for compensatory damages. While every bus accident is unique, any of the following parties could be liable for your injuries:
- Bus driver
- Bus driver supervisor
- Tour bus driver or operator (if the collision involves a tour or a tourist vehicle)
- Bus manufacturer
- Bus maintenance company
- School bus driver (if you were involved in a school bus accident)
- Bus part(s) manufacturer
- Other motorists
- The legal owner of the bus stop or parking property
- Municipal entities
Regardless of who is at fault, you could recover the compensatory damages you deserve for your financial losses since the date of the bus collision if you have a dedicated injury attorney in your corner.
Compensatory Damages in a Bus Collision Lawsuit
Although you could recover your damages through settlement negotiation with the at-fault party, most reliable injury attorneys recommend filing a lawsuit to obtain the maximum compensation for your claim.
When your attorney decides to file a lawsuit, he/she must be ready to convince the court beyond a reasonable doubt that the other party (defendant) was negligent and their negligence led to the bus collision. Further, he/she must prove that the bus accident was the cause of your injuries and losses for an award of compensatory damages.
If everything works out in your favor, you could receive compensation and restitution for the following types of losses:
- Medical expenses, including therapy costs and Over-The-Counter (OTC) medication costs
- Property damage for all your damaged items, including personal belongings and vehicle
- Past and future lost wages, especially if the accident left you with a permanent disability
- Pain and suffering to cover for possible psychological trauma, fear, anxiety, and more
- Punitive damages if gross negligence of the at-fault party caused the bus accident and your injuries
If a loved one dies in a bus collision, you could also recover wrongful death damages to cover the following type of losses:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses the deceased had accumulated before his/her death
- Loss of companionship (if you were his/her spouse)
Find a Reliable Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
We invite you to call our profound injury attorneys at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm at 702-576-0010 if you have sustained an injury in a bus collision or accident. Our attorneys have significant experience in these types of cases, which is one of the reasons these worrying bus accident statistics do not surprise us.
Once you contact us, we will dedicate ample time to your case, leaving no stone unturned to build a winning and undisputable compensation claim for the best possible outcome. We know the viable arguments that can convince the court to award you the utmost compensation for your injuries and losses resulting from the bus accident.