What are some important facts regarding bus accidents?

With the cost of travel expenses soaring, many Americans are now considering traveling by bus as a cheaper alternative. In Tennessee and right here in Knoxville, it’s possible to see commercial buses sharing our roadways every time you get on the highway.

Sadly, some commercial bus companies have engaged in reckless and unsafe practices in an effort to meet the growing demand of travelers. Some examples of this are hiring inadequately trained drivers or placing vehicles into the field that may have faulty safety equipment.

Under the auspices of the Department of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been tracking fatalities and injuries involving commercial buses for over two decades. Here is an overview of some of the highlights the FMCSA uncovered from a review of data collected in 2012:

— More than 764,500 commercial buses were registered in 2012 with the FMCSA.

— Commercial buses traveled a cumulative total of 14,755,000 miles in 2012.

— There were 12,000 bus crashes that year that resulted in injuries to at least 23,000 people.

— In 2012, there were 100 fatal crashes involving school buses across the nation, 34 involving motor coaches, 77 involving transit buses and 30 involving van- based buses.

— Thirteen occupants died as a result of crashes involving school buses in 2012. Fifteen people died in similar accidents involving motor coaches, one occupants died in a transit bus involved accident and eight perished in van-based bus accidents.

Tennessee residents have a right to be free of injury when using commercial buses. Alternatively, they also have a right to be free of harm from the operators of those vehicles.

Commercial bus companies are required to maintain insurance. In some cases, those insurers are reluctant to pay claims to persons injured as a result of bus accidents. That’s why it may be necessary to conduct accident reconstruction and collect other evidence to help support those claims.

If you have been injured as a result of a bus accident, you already know that medical costs and lost wages can quickly become overwhelming. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to recover those losses in a civil lawsuit against the bus driver or the parent company.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2012” Aug. 25, 2014