Bus accidents can cause serious devastation to passengers as well as to drivers of other vehicles, pedestrians or motorcycle riders. Because buses are so large and often carry multiple passengers, the potential for injury is great when a bus accident occurs, and often serious injury results.
New tour buses and regular buses that provide service between cities must be equipped with seat belts starting in late 2016 under a new Federal ruling – a safety measure sought by accident investigators for about 50 years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said beginning in November 2016 all new buses must be equipped by manufacturers with three-point lap-shoulder belts. Unfortunately, this rule doesn’t apply to school buses or city transit buses.
Statistics show that an average of 21 people in large buses is killed every year in accidents and approximately 8,000 are injured. About 50 percent of all motor coach fatalities are the result of rollovers and about 70 percent of those killed in rollover accidents were ejected from the bus.
It is hoped that seat belts will reduce fatalities and moderate-to-severe injuries by nearly half.
The United States has approximately 29,000 motor coaches that transport about 700 million passengers every year. According to the United Motor Coach Association, these numbers are equivalent to the domestic airline industry.
The National Transportation Safety Board first recommended seat belts in 1968 after investigating a deadly crash that killed 19 passengers in the Mojave Desert town of Baker. The passengers would have had a better chance of survival if they had been held in their seats by safety belts.
Southern California is an entertainment and tourist state. Tour buses go everywhere. However, hundreds of passengers have died and even more have been injured since the Board made its initial recommendation.
Finally, with this new ruling, consumers will be afforded the basic safety protections everyone enjoys when they get into their vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident, it is wise to get legal help as soon as possible to understand your rights. There are many legal complexities involved with knowing who can be held responsible for a bus accident.
At the San Bernardino personal injury law offices of Welebir Tierney & Weck, our experienced attorneys have represented many clients who suffered injury as a result of a bus accident. It is very important that you understand what your rights are in order to give yourself the best chance of receiving the compensation that you deserve.
Contact us today to learn how we can help. You can schedule an appointment by phone or fill out our online contact form and one of our attorneys will contact you.