An eastern Pennsylvania highway was the location for a recent tractor-trailer/charter bus collision. Fourteen Italian tourists, along with a tour guide and the bus driver, were headed to Niagara Falls on the charter bus when the crash occurred. The bus driver and two other passengers on the charter bus died as a result of the accident, and four people were left in critical condition. The charter bus left New York and was about a fourth of the way to its first destination, driving on Interstate 380 in the Pocono Mountain region.
Police say the charter bus collided with a large commercial truck, which crossed into oncoming traffic. Another truck driver from Easton, Pat Jacino, stopped to offer assistance to the injured bus passengers. Jacino noted that many passengers were covered in blood, as he and another man helped lift them out of the mangled bus. The front end of the bus remained upright, but was wedged into the side of the trailer, while the cab of the truck sheared away from the trailer, landing in the woods next to the road. While police believe a second 18-wheeler also may have been involved in the accident, the investigation is ongoing.
Inner City Buses and Charter Bus Accidents
Although there are not nearly as many bus accidents as there are large commercial truck accidents, a 2010 study found that approximately 63,000 buses are involved in collisions during any given year. These accidents are responsible for 50 to 250 deaths and thousands of injuries. The same study found that intercity buses are nearly twice as likely to be involved in an accident, while charter buses have a significantly higher risk of an accident being caused by driver error.
A separate 2012 study found that young, inexperienced bus drivers vastly increase the risk for an accident. Other common factors associated with bus accidents include:
- Driver error and driver fatigue are the primary cause of all bus accidents.
- Equipment failure such as defective tires or brakes, or an unsafe gas tank, can be responsible for bus accidents.
- Driver negligence, including improper lane changes, failure to yield the right-of-way, exceeding the speed limit, and veering off the road can cause a bus to be involved in a collision.
- Road conditions, whether man-made, weather, animals, or road construction, can change the safety of the roadways. Poor maintenance or a poorly designed roadway can also shift the liability for a bus accident to a governmental entity.
- Roof failure can be responsible for passenger deaths following an accident, particularly in 15-passenger buses. Roof areas must meet all federal regulations regarding roof crush.
As an aside, if you are a parent worried about your child being transported to and from school on a school bus, you can be reassured. School buses in the United States are eight times safer for children than riding in cars driven by their parents.
Injured in a Bus Accident? An Attorney can Help!
A Pennsylvania personal injury attorney will have a thorough understanding of the injuries you have sustained as a result of a bus accident and will use that knowledge to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf. Perhaps a lack of safety measures, negligence on the part of the bus driver or bus company, or even a manufacturer defect was to blame for your injuries. Your attorney will identify the negligent party or parties, and hold them responsible for those injuries. If the bus you were on is government owned, the complexities will increase dramatically. Much stricter guidelines exist for those filing a personal injury claim against a federal entity, including much shorter statutes of limitations. Having a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney in your corner, advocating for your rights, can make the difference in the compensation you receive for your injuries.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident or public transportation accident, the personal injury attorneys at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., can help. We have over 68 years experience represent injured accident victims and their families across Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery, and Northampton counties. We also serve injured accident victims throughout the State of New Jersey. Contact us today at 215-568-1510 or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options.