A recent school charter bus accident in South Carolina left 28 students quite shaken. Luckily, no students were seriously injured, but we can't say the same about the driver. According to FOX 28, the students were heading from South Carolina back to Ohio after their marching band performance. The accident happened at roughly 4:00 a.m. along Interstate 95 in Hendersonville.
According to accident reports, the bus left the roadway and slammed into a tree. The 63-year-old driver was killed in the accident. Two chaperones of the trip were injured in the crash. The driver reportedly suffered from cardiac arrest, but it has not been determined if the accident was a result.
Now, officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating.
Our Hendersonville personal injury attorneys understand that many residents and visitors to the area rely on charter buses to help to get them around safely. Unfortunately, these kinds of vehicles can serve up some serious risks for accidents. These commercial vehicles are driven on the streets like passenger buses. They're large, heavy and lumbering, and have multiple blind spots. In fact, it even requires a specially licensed and trained driver just to lve egally operated.
According to a 2009 study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 221 fatal bus accidents occur in a year as opposed to 18,315 fatal crashes involving cars; public transport is considered a safe alternative to driving. Even so, accidents involving buses are a growing concern which the Federal Motor Carrier Administration.
The most common causes of busing accidents:
-Defective of faulty equipment (like tires or brakes).
-Improperly trained or licensed drivers.
-Bus maintenance neglect. These buses should be run through safety checks frequently, especially with all of the miles they're logging out there.
-Alcohol and/or drug abuse by the driver.
-Hours of service violations (meaning that drivers are spending too much time behind the wheel to safely operate the bus).
-Poor weather conditions.
-Breaking road laws, like improper lane changes or speeding.
Of these accidents, smaller and newer companies are more likely to be involved in an accident. When regulation resources are scarce, accidents are likely as well.
It's important that you do your research before choosing a bus company. Lower cost tickets don't always ensure safety. Make sure you look at the ratings of companies before choosing one for travel. Check the FMCSA's SAFER System. You can check registration, safety updates, safety profiles, violation records and more. All of this is going to help to ensure a safer trip for you and your family.