Large buses that are used for charters, tours and even to drive school children are a force to be reckoned with on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported over 11,000 accidents involving buses in 2008 with an estimated 24,000 people injured. With over 800,000 buses registered and driving on the road, these large vehicles can be dangerous not only to those riding within, but to other vehicles and people around them.Heavy Buses Are A Serious Safety Concern For Other Drivers
An average bus has a gross vehicle weight of between 11 to 14 tons, depending on the bus type but many motor coaches or buses can top out at over 61,000 pounds when fully loaded. This makes them as heavy as many semi-trailer trucks on the road, but with much different weight balances and designs. Some safety concerns due to these heavy weights are:
- Tire blowouts. All tires have weight restrictions and maintenance requirements to ensure they are safe to drive on. Buses that are overloaded or do not keep up the maintenance needed on their tires are at risk for blowouts that can cause severe accidents on the road.
- Stopping distance. The heavier the bus, the longer the stopping distance will be in an emergency. Motorcoaches and charter buses that carry passengers and luggage often are heavier than a driver may expect, changing the dynamics when the bus needs to stop quickly.
- Rollover accidents. Buses are already top heavy due to their design and construction. Buses that are improperly loaded or have uneven weight distribution throughout the bus can be at risk for a rollover.
Not only do bus accidents endanger those in the bus, they also are a danger to other vehicles on the road, bicyclists and even pedestrians. If a bus loses control or cannot stop in time, these large behemoths of the road can injure or even kill those who are in its path.Impaired Visibility Issues Contributing to Serious Accidents Involving Pedestrians
A particular danger that buses may have for pedestrians and bicyclists is the lack of visibility for the driver. Just like a large truck, buses are elevated higher and have restricted lines of sight for the driver. This can cause large blind spots where the driver cannot see those around them, especially smaller entities such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
In school bus accidents, the majority of fatalities happen to children who are hit by the bus, not while riding the bus. In a ten-year period, 73% of the fatalities involving children and school buses were due to the child being hit by the bus when they were on foot or on their bicycle. Considering that school bus drivers are aware that children are approaching or leaving the bus and still hit them when they are out of view is indicative to how dangerous any bus can be to pedestrians.Injury Lawyers For People Involved In An Accident With A Bus
If you are in a vehicle or pedestrian injury accident that is caused by a bus, you are entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Bus accidents can be intricate as there may be more than one party responsible and require investigations into those who are liable. Our team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is dedicated to serving our clients in retrieving the financial compensation they deserve when injured due to a bus accident. We invite you to meet with our Chicago bus accident attorneys for a free consultation to discuss what options are available in your case.
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