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New York Bus Safety Measures

February 23, 2013

Our New York bus accident lawyers regularly keep abreast of the studies of the National Transportation Safety Board and monitor the boards findings to help assess causes of bus accidents. These days millions of people travel by bus every year into the New York metropolitan area. Nationally, more than 700 million passengers ride buses every year. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were more than 250 fatalities and 20,000 people who suffered personal injuries in bus accidents in 2009. Between 2000-2007, there were 1,093 fatal accidents involving large buses, resulting in 1,315 fatalities and 3,471 personal injuries.

This high volume with discount carriers loading up passengers are pushing safety to its limit. Because of the size of a bus and the amount of people that a bus carries, bus accidents all too often result in serious personal injury and even wrongful death.

After an extensive study of the cause of bus accidents across the United States, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that recent bus accidents have a common theme of three recurring safety issues: fatigued drivers, poor occupant protection and marginal operators.

One recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board recommended is better and more comprehensive training of bus drivers and more thorough background checks of bus drivers to ensure that the professional motorcoach driver is properly qualified. The National Transportation Safety Board also recommended that drivers undergo more frequent medical examinations to make sure that they are continually fit to operate such complex machinery. Too often bus drivers undergo medical examinations when they are initially hired but then their medical condition can change while they are employed and hopefully more frequent medical examinations will help to weed out drivers whose health deteriorates to the point that they are no longer qualified to operate a bus.

Driver fatigue on interstate motor coaches has been a contributing cause of accidents for years. Inattention during a long bus trip on a high speed interstate is a recipe for disaster. The National Transportation Safety Board recommends that drivers and operators work together to limit hours of service to ensure that drivers have adequate opportunity for rest–and to institute measures, such as fatigue risk management programs and vehicle technologies, that can assist operators and drivers in recognizing and mitigating fatigue. Hopefully these simple steps can eliminate bus accidents which are caused by driver fatigue and inattention.

Our New York bus personal injury lawyers handle bus accident cases all over New York State and New Jersey. Our Westchester accident lawyers will continue to serve the New York City areas including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. As rapid transit bus services, commuter buses and charter buses are becoming more common in the Westchester cities of White Plains, Yonkers, Port Chester, Mamaroneck, Ossining, New Rochelle, Greenburgh, Elmsford, Rye, Scardsdale, Harrison and Bronxville, our New York personal injury lawyers and Westchester bus accident attorneys will continue to represent personal injury victims of bus accidents.

The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph