Earlier this month, a tour bus crashed in a mountainous area in California. At least eight people were reported to have died in this crash and many more were injured. The bus had lost control in difficult terrain. Another recent bus crash in the Boston area caused many injuries. As a Georgia bus accident attorney, these crashes bring to the forefront the importance of knowing the safety record of the bus company with which passengers are traveling. Read on to find out just how to get information on bus safety before traveling.
Early reports after the California bus crash did not reveal the cause. But one thing is known for sure. The tour bus company had a history of citations for vehicle maintenance violations that included brake problems.
The United States’ Department of Transportation records revealed as much. The company’s buses had been removed from service at a higher rate than the national average. In general, when buses are inspected about 20 percent are cited with safety violations. But this company had over 35 percent of federal inspections that resulted in service removal. The Department of Transportation had even placed this company on its safety watch list due to consistent maintenance issues. Despite all of this, reports indicate that the bus company retained a satisfactory safety rating by the federal government and had no crashes for two years prior to the tragic accident.
The bus crash occurred when the bus was traveling in a ski area in Southern California. Apparently, some witnesses saw that the brakes on this bus were smoking prior to the accident. The AP noted that the bus was heading down hill when the driver called out for passengers to call 911, but there was no cell reception in the area. Once help arrived, victims were taken to local hospitals.
Sadly, the bus struck other vehicles on the road in its dangerous path, including jumping lanes and hitting a pick up truck before tossing passengers out and rolling. The driver of that truck sustained critical injuries.
Before you travel on a bus, check the company’s safety record by going to the federal Department of Transportation’s website. There you will find a free bus safety travel app provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that enables the public to “Look Before You Book.” This app will provide safety information about carriers and urges travelers to check these safety records before planning a family or group trip.