Commercial vehicles can include trains, planes, buses, and more. The most commonly encountered of those vehicles is that of commercial buses. These large passenger vehicles can serve many purposes. Some transport Georgians to and from everyday locations, such as work, while others transport children to and from school. Regardless of the type of commercial bus, the potential for dangerous accidents is high due to the sheer size and number of passengers able to travel at once, combined with the lack of safety belts on these large passenger automobiles.
Commercial buses carry approximately 750 million citizens on a yearly basis. These trips may include travel from city to city, on tours, field trips, and more. 65% of those trips include kids and senior citizens. Although many people view commercial buses as a safer form of travel than alternatives, crashes do occur and they can be very dangerous. In 2006 alone, there were 32 bus wrecks in the state of Georgia. 10 of those crashes involved fatalities and 11 involved injuries. The hazard of death in a rollover accident can be reduced by as much as 77%, potentially saving eight lives per year.
When an auto accident involves a commercial bus, passengers are often in greater danger than necessary due to the lack of seatbelts and safety restraints. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and Congress have debated seat belt requirements on buses for over 35 years. In 2012, Congress voted to make seatbelts a requirement on newly constructed commercial buses as a portion of the Transportation Reauthorization bill. This rule does not extend to the countless buses already on the roads of America, though. And although these new buses will be furnished with safety belts, the NHTSA does not have the authority to require passengers to make use of them. Seat belt laws for all vehicles, including commercial buses, must be made by individual states.
Because buses are so large and cannot navigate as easily as smaller motor vehicles, wrecks involving Georgia commercial buses are often very serious. In the event that a large bus collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, the smaller automobile passengers almost always suffer injuries or deaths.
Due to the various potential causes for Georgia bus accidents, it is important to contact an experienced bus wreck attorney if you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident involving a bus. Determining who is at fault for the accident, whether it is one of the drivers, the company which owns the bus, or another party, is the most important aspect of representing bus accident victims. For this reason, the sooner after an Atlanta bus accident that you contact a top notch attorney, the better. The further from the accident date you wait, the less chance of determining fault in an accident.
For more information on commercial bus accidents such as school buses, Marta, or others, contact Jones & Swanson today. We offer free initial consultations if you believe you have a case, as well as representation on a contingency fee basis.