NTSB Releases Finding Showing Passengers Risks for Bus Accidents in Chicago, Elsewhere

The National Transportation Safety Broad (NTSB) recently released a report that concluded that you’re seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal bus accident in Chicago and elsewhere on a curbside bus than on a traditional terminal bus. The six-month study was ordered after a string of fatal crashes, including a Bronx busing accident in March that killed 15 passengers and injured another 18. The study proved that safety officials are having a tough time keeping up with regulating of these popular buses.
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“Business and safety practices within the growing curbside bus industry create challenges for enforcement authorities and consumers alike when it comes to separating the safe operators from the unsafe operators,” NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.

Our Chicago bus accident attorneys understand that these cheaper curbside buses are harder to track down for safety inspections because they don’t run out of typical terminals. Another factor hindering the regulation of these buses is the ticket sales. Tickets for curbside buses are sold through online brokers. Unfortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) doesn’t have the right to control or monitor these sales.

With the release of this report, investigators and federal officials can now examine the information and look for a starting point to start better regulating these carriers.

Curbside buses typically run on scheduled paths and start and end at spots that aren’t terminals where passengers are boarding or exiting. These buses also have more than one stops instead of one starting stop and one destination. Through this report, the FMCSA conducted compliance reviews, focus groups, interviews and various observations in search of information to help them to more efficiently rate the safety of these popular buses.

Findings of the study include:

-Curbside carriers that have been in business for less than 10 years and have fewer than 10 buses are much more likely to be in an accident and much more likely to fail an inspection and a review than a traditional bus.

-Accident statistics from 2005 to March of 2011 concluded that curbside buses were involved in seven times as many accidents as conventional bus operations.

-Curbside buses are harder to stop for inspections because they don’t typically have a “bus barn” or a terminal.

-There aren’t enough inspectors. There are only about 900 FMCSA personnel who can inspect buses and more than 765,000 buses. That means that ever 1.15 investigators has to inspect about 1,000 buses.

-Bus driver fatigue was reported as a top cause for bus accidents.

-Many drivers were cited for violations including language barriers and language discrepancies.

Since March, there NTSB has investigated five separate busing accidents. These accidents took the lives of more than 20 people and injured nearly 160 more.

When a passenger boards a bus, they should be thinking about their safety and the reliability of the bus and the bus’ driver. Unfortunately, these cheaper bus rides don’t provide passengers with the safest rides. Travelers are urged to look into busing companies before choosing one to ride with.

If you or a loved one has been injured in bus accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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