In 2017 there were 749 school bus accidents involving 5 fatalities and hundreds of injuries in Pennsylvania and 8 of those bus accidents occurred in Mercer County. These statistics do not even include the number of bus accidents and injuries involving public and private transportation buses such as Shenango Valley Shuttle, Greyhound buses, and charter buses. Buses are often touted as being a very safe form of transportation citing lower passenger accident and injury statistics compared to other modes of transportation.
Our Mercer County bus accident attorneys know that those statistics do not matter to people once they have been injured in a bus accident or to people whose loved ones have been injured or died in a bus accident. They also know that typically those numbers do not include the number of pedestrians, bicyclists, and occupants of other vehicles who are injured or killed in collisions with buses.
Bus accident injuries
People outside of the bus frequently are the ones who sustain the most serious injuries and fatalities in bus accidents due to having little protection against a bus’s size and mass. Buses have a tendency to roll over in bus collisions and when a driver loses control of the bus because of speeding or dangerous road conditions. Rollover accidents cause the most serious injuries and deaths for bus passengers.
Bus accident causes and factors
Common bus accident causes and factors include those listed below:
- Improper licensing or training that is required under Pennsylvania law.
- A driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Driving distractions such as texting or talking on a cell phone.
- Defective vehicles and parts such as faulty tires and brake failures.
- Driver fatigue due to driving long shifts on numerous consecutive days.
- New bus drivers’ inexperience.
- Limited visibility due to things such as large blind spots and poor weather conditions.
- Poor vehicle maintenance such as underinflated tires and failure to comply with required safety checks.
- Speed including driving over the speed limit or driving too fast for present conditions.
- Other types of negligence resulting in accidents.
Types of accidents
Accidents include collisions with other vehicles, fixed objects, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Bus accidents involving pedestrians frequently occur at crosswalks and bus stops. Bus accidents involving bicyclists often result when a bus driver fails to see a bicyclist or when a bus driver sideswipes a bicyclist in a failed pass attempt.