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Low fare buses raise major accident safety concerns

Following a fatal bus accident in the Bronx resulting in the death of 15 individuals and injuries to another 18, the National Transportation Board launched a study on the safety of low-fare curbside bus companies. Bus accidents result in many traumatic brain injuries.

The federal bus safety study found that these bus companies are involved in fatal crashed seven times as often as those run by traditional companies.

The bus driver returning from a Connecticut casino to the Manhattan’s, Chinatown lost control after it struck an overhead sign causing the bus to roll over on its side.

The report is entitled, “Report on Curbside Motorcoach Safety” and contains the following key findings:

 •In general, motorcoach travel is safe. However, curbside carriers with ten or fewer buses AND carriers who have been in business for ten years or less, have higher accident rates and higher roadside inspection violation rates.

•The fatal accident rate for curbside carriers from January 2005 to March 2011 was 7 times that of conventional bus operations: 1.4 fatal accidents per 100 vehicles for curbside carriers compared with 0.2 fatal accidents per 100 vehicles for conventional scheduled carriers.

•The exclusion of buses from routine enroute inspections - especially of curbside carriers that don't operate from terminals - reduces opportunities to discover safety violations.

•The FMCSA is overburdened. For example, 878 FMCSA and state personnel are responsible for compliance reviews for more than 765,000 U.S. motor carriers, a ratio of 1.15 investigators per 1,000 motor carriers.

•Bus driver fatigue, a contributing factor in many accidents, is a continuing safety concern.

You can read the executive summary of the bus safety study by clicking here.

The brain injury law firm of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP can provide legal assistance for injuries caused by a bus accident.

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