Bus crashes are serious accidents – and we’ve been following the federal government’s latest attempts to lessen the dangers of riding buses and to prevent motorcoach and bus injuries across the country.
How dangerous is it to ride on a bus today?
Personal injury lawyers are well aware of the vulnerabilities when riding a bus – and efforts by the federal authorities to make buses safer comes as good news. Sure, most bus rides are safe; however, when there is an accident involving a bus there is a real risk of serious injury for bus riders, particularly when the bus is traveling at a high rate of speed.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2008 there were 24,000 reported injuries sustained by people riding buses in the United States. (The FMCSA online statistics page does not carry information later than 2008.)
When people do get hurt in a bus accident, there are often many people involved and lots of people hurt. After all, a bus (be it a tour bus, a school bus, a casino bus, a city bus, a university bus, or private motorcoach) is designed to carry many passengers who are not required to wear seat belts. Accidents therefore can involve several victims.
Sadly, this has been demonstrated several times over the past week as a series of serious bus crashes has made the national news coverage with one tragedy happening here in our local area:
1. July 30: India School Bus Crash Kills 9 Kids, Another 20 Injured.
Today, in India, 9 children were killed and 20 other kids were injured when the school bus in which they were riding crashed with a truck, head-on, in the city of Hanumangarh. Both the bus driver and the truck driver were not so seriously hurt that they were prevented from leaving the scene, and reports are that the police are looking for both of them.
Meanwhile, 7 kids are reported to have died instantly in the bus crash, with the other two fatalities occurring at the hospital.
Early witness accounts are that the truck was trying to pass in one lane and the school bus, coming from the other way, crashed head-on into the truck.
2. July 28: Italy Tour Bus Crash Kills 38 People.
On a hillside outside of Naples, an Italian tour bus crash on Sunday caused the deaths of 38 people with another 11 bus passengers being seriously injured. The tour bus was filled with a tour group returning from a weekend pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo’s Padre Pio shrine, said to be the second most visited shrine for Catholics in the world.
Reports are that a tire may have blown on the bus, causing the driver to lose control of the tour bus with the bus careening off the roadway and down the hillside slope, crashing to a halt almost 100 feet below the roadside.
Dozens of people died in the bus crash, including the tour bus driver who perished in the accident.
3. July 26: Pennsylvania School Bus Rear-Ended by Tractor Trailer Truck, 36 Kids Injured.
On Friday, a school bus carrying a bunch of kids from a YMCA camp in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, on a camp day trip to a Pottsville swimming pool was rear-ended by a tractor trailer truck while the bus was driving along an interstate highway (I-81). The school bus was lobbed into the rear of a Mazda sedan in front of it.
Fortunately, the 36 child passengers on the camp bus, while receiving injuries serious enough to require treatment at the local hospital, suffered no fatalities. The adults on the bus and the truck driver were also injured seriously enough to need hospital care but the adults in the sedan escaped injury.
4. July 27: Indianapolis church bus kills 3 adults and 6 children seriously injured.
On Saturday, a church bus from Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis on its way home from a Michigan summer camp and carrying 37 passengers crashed as it was exiting Interstate 465 after the bus brakes failed, causing the bus driver to lose control of the church bus with the bus slamming into a highway median and flipping over, sliding to a halt on its side.
Investigators are looking into mechanical failure as a cause of the tragic bus crash here in Indiana.
Perishing in the camp bus accident were one church member along with the church’s youth pastor and his pregnant wife.
Many of the bus riders were hurt; the latest reports are that 6 teens are still in the hospital dealing with the injuries they received in the bus crash and that one of these kids remains in critical condition.
Our condolences to all those who lost a loved one in these tragic bus accidents, especially to those families who have lost children in these crashes.