Earlier this November the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report in response to four serious bus and truck accidents that have occurred in the United States over the last year. 83 people were injured in these crashes, and 25 lost their lives. Like commercial trucks, buses must follow the guidelines set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), who did not dispute any of the boards’ findings. If you were injured in an accident that involved a bus, you should let a Missouri truck accident attorney review your case. There are special laws in place that cover large truck and bus operations. It may be that in your case one or more was not followed.
Examining the Accidents
Of the two accidents cited in the report, both were the fault of the driver and/or company and both were in violation of one or more federal laws. In the first instance the driver had over exceeded the weekly allowed hours behind the wheel. The FMCSA knew that both the driver and the company had a history of such issues but their latest inspection had been limited.
The second accident was a result of mechanical problems, the biggest being that all six of the buses brakes were shown to be defective. The bus company in this case was based out of Mexico, so even though issues had been noted during road spot checks, following up on the maintenance reports proved to be difficult. After the accident, the Transportation Department decided to disallow the line from running in the United States.
Combined, 10 people lost their lives and 11 were seriously injured, just in these two incidents.
St. Louis Truck Accidents
In St. Louis, Missouri, an injured driver settled his claim against a charter bus company for $2 million. The accident occurred in a construction zone where the driver of the bus rear ended the plaintiffs’ vehicle. With extensive research and background checks, the lawyer for the plaintiff was able to show that not only was the driver inexperienced, the company had not trained him as required by the FMSCR. On top of that it was discovered that the driver was taking a medication he had not disclosed to the physician during the required medical exam for a commercial drivers’ license. At least one doctor had disqualified him from obtaining a CDL. Additionally, the driver and company were not keeping up with the drivers log book.
With all of the additional regulations surrounding the trucking and bus industry, it is crucial for an injured person to seek the assistance of a Missouri truck accident attorney to handle any claim that involves one.
With only 350 inspectors on hand to cover close to a million trucking and bus companies, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration certainly has its hands full. Hopefully the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board will incite the government to make improvements in its inspections and follow-up procedures.