Fort Smith, Arkansas Bus Accident Lawyer
Driving in close to a bus is enough to make you uneasy, especially if the weather is poor that day. Despite the extra caution that you may use when driving next to a large bus, your actions do not make you impervious to being in a car accident. A collision with a bus is especially dangerous due to the sheer size and weight of most buses. If you or a family member was injured in a bus accident, you should consult with an experienced Fort Smith bus accident lawyer.
At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, our accident lawyers are here to help you evaluate and pursue a claim against a negligent bus driver, his employer, and anyone else who may be responsible for your injuries. We understand the impact a serious accident can have on your professional and personal life, and we are here to stand with you. To schedule a confidential legal consultation, contact Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP at (479) 439-9840.
Bus Crash Statistics
In a recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), approximately 4,440 buses and similarly sized trucks are involved in fatal accidents every year. This statistic has fluctuated over the years, but at its peak, there were about 5,200 bus-related fatal accidents in a single year. The FMCSA also records bus crashes that involved non-fatal injuries and discovered that there are roughly 119,000 people injured in bus accidents every year.
These statistics are an indication that buses that are operated incorrectly or that malfunction are a danger to many motorists on the road. The danger is increased if the bus is carrying a multitude of passengers, especially if those passengers are school children. For example, from 2007 to 2016, school-related bus accidents were the cause of 128 fatalities per year. About nine percent of the victims that died in these accidents were passengers on the bus, while the rest were a mix of other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
To learn more about bus collision statistics, you should speak with an experienced Arkansas bus accident lawyer.
4 Common Causes of Bus Collisions
A bus collision can occur for a variety of reasons. However, there are some causes of bus accidents that are more prevalent than others. The following is a list of the most common causes of bus crashes.
Bus Driver Exhaustion
One of the worst actions a bus driver can take is getting behind the wheel of a 20,000 to 30,000-pound bus while they are exhausted. In addition to working long hours, many bus and truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea. This sleep disorder could make it difficult to feel refreshed even after having a generous amount of sleep, which may cause a bus driver to feel fatigued. A fatigued bus driver is likely to cause an accident because they may fall asleep at the wheel.
Inclement weather is a greater danger to buses and similar vehicles because of the weight and slower maneuverability that these vehicles possess. If a bus driver is faced with poor weather and road conditions, they should drive slower than usual for their benefit and the benefit of other drivers. Bus drivers should be taught how to operate their vehicles in the midst of bad weather. Unfortunately, not all bus drivers possess the experience or patience to make changes to their driving during bad weather.
As you know, there is a wide range of activities a driver could be doing behind the wheel, from texting to eating a meal. When a bus driver is not diligent behind the wheel, their negligence could cause other individuals a serious or fatal injury. Driver error can also refer to a bus driver that does not adhere to speeding laws or a driver that makes illegal maneuvers on the road.
Inadequate Bus Maintenance
Like every other vehicle, a bus needs routine maintenance to operate correctly. Typically, the bus driver’s employer is responsible for checking a bus for any issues that may cause a vehicle malfunction. If the employer fails to inspect their fleet of buses, they could be held liable for injuries caused when one of their buses breaks down.
This is not an exhaustive list of causes of bus collisions that you might be able to sue for. A bus driver, their employer, and even the manufacturer of a bus could be held responsible for your injuries under certain circumstances. Be sure to document everything that could help you prove your case if you want to file a personal injury lawsuit after a bus accident.
Fort Smith Bus Accident Attorneys Can Help You Pursue Your Injury Case
If you or a family member was the victim of a bus accident, you should contact an experienced Fort Smith bus accident attorney. The injury attorneys at Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP are prepared to help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit after being involved in a serious bus collision. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us at (479) 439-9840.