Last month, a D.C. bus accident between a school bus and a Metro bus sent 43 children and three adults to a hospital. Just a few weeks later, a bus accident in Baltimore, Maryland that also involved a transit bus and a school bus resulted in six deaths and 10 injuries. According to police, the damage to both buses was so extensive, it looked like a bomb went off. While investigators are looking into the cause of both crashes, there is a growing concern that bus accidents are becoming more common in D.C.
Common Causes of D.C. Bus Accidents
While bus accidents are far less common than car crashes or truck accidents in the Washington, D.C. area, they still have the potential to cause life-changing injuries to the passengers on board or others involved in the accident.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there are roughly 900,000 buses in the United states, which includes school buses. Approximately 63,000 of these buses are involved in a crash each year. Of those crashes, at least 12,000 people are injured as a result. Most of these crashes can be attributed to the following causes:
- Driver fatigue
- Speeding and aggressive driving
- Faulty brakes or tires
- Passengers who are distracting
- Bus driver distracted driving, such as texting
Buses are the preferred form of transportation for most people in D.C. As it turns out, Metrobus is the sixth most busy bus agency in the U.S. and has 11,500 stops in Maryland, Virginia and the District.
Although many attempts to add safety features, such as higher backs and seat belts have been made (especially in school buses), there has been little progress made. This is why it is extremely important for transit companies to hire qualified individuals, conduct thorough background checks and ensure everyone getting behind the wheel of a bus is properly trained. Additionally, these bus companies must make sure all buses receive the proper maintenance required to run safely.
Speak With A D.C. Bus Accident Lawyer
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. is a personal injury law firm in Washington, D.C. that helps those injured in bus accidents. Our team offers free consultation, call us today to speak to one of our attorneys.