City-owned mass transit, school districts, touring companies and charters offer bus rides for people who want to travel from one place to another. Drivers must pass multiple skills tests and renew driving licenses more frequently than anyone else on the road. Lives depend on their ability to stay alert and maneuver a large vehicle in varied situations including weather, traffic and road conditions. Bus accidents cause extensive loss of property and life because so many people are involved. Preventing bus accidents is possible when everyone cooperates. A SEPTA accident lawyer or Philadelphia bus accident attorney should always be retained to investigate any accident.
Bus Accident Causes
Long-distance bus routes create challenging situations for drivers who become weary from long hours in adverse conditions. Accidents on cross-country routes are often the result of illegal drug use. In cities, the primary cause of accidents involving mass transit buses is rapid changes in traffic patterns and volume. Buses require more room and time to stop. With school buses, the primary cause of bus accidents is other drivers' rapid movements between lanes and shortcuts when passing. Weather and adverse roads are rarely the cause of bus accidents because of the extensive training drivers undergo to prevent mishandling of the bus.
Accident Reduction Efforts
Laws exist to limit the number of driving hours every driver can have in a 24 hour period. Most recently, a law was passed to limit the number of weekly driving hours to 70 each week. After eight hours of driving, a 30 minute break is required. Driving logs must be kept to ascertain the driver's personal compliance to the laws. Enforcement presents special challenges.
Rest areas are too far between on many routes where bus drivers would need a break and some rest. Accident avoidance is part of the road design where interstate highways cross vast distances in rural areas. Truck stops and other privately-owned parking lots should be made available to provide additional options.
Avoid Bus Accidents
Passenger vehicle drivers can reduce the number of incidents involving buses through awareness. Large vehicles on the road should be given more room to maneuver. Never cut into the space in front of a bus when traveling on a freeway or city street. Patience is required when a lumbering bus is attempting to enter or exit a parking lot or other side street. Cars and trucks should be prepared to move out of the way since the bus has few options when turning corners.
Bus drivers accept a great deal of responsibility for the lives onboard. All drivers must recognize the importance of allowing everyone to share the roads in the effort to reduce collisions for everyone. Bus accidents could be eliminated through focused efforts to make more room on the road.