It has been confirmed that a 2016 bus accident that killed 12 passengers along with the bus driver was attributed to the driver being deprived of sleep. Last year, the bus, which was traveling on Interstate 10 in Palm Springs, slammed into a big rig traveling at about 76 mph. The rig had been stopped so the impact was intense, and deadly. The bus was en route from taking gamblers from Red Earth Casino back to Los Angeles, CA when the accident transpired.
According to members of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the driver of the bus had slept maybe four hours in the 35 hours preceding the bus collision. While the bus driver and the company in which he worked for were both reckless and negligent, the truck driver was also held accountable for the accident too. According to the LA Times, Bruce Guilford, who was the driver of the big rig, was charged with more than 40 counts including vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving as he stopped his truck on the freeway as he too was sleep deprived. Guilford had been working on his second of two consecutive trips from Alabama to California when the collision occurred.
To make matters worse, the truck driver also “falsified his driver logs to hide the amount of hours he’d spent on the road.”
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
While you might be thinking that both the truck driver along with the operator of the bus were irresponsible for failing to get enough sleep so they could properly do their job, drowsy driving is a common issue across the entire U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsiness makes a driver:
- Less able to pay attention to the road.
- Slows their reaction time if you have to brake or steer your vehicle suddenly.
- Affects the driver’s ability to make good decisions.
To show you just how serious drowsy driving is, the CDC also pointed out that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that driving while fatigued “was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.”
Who are some of the people who are most likely to drive drowsy?
- Individuals who don’t enough sleep.
- Commercial drivers who operate tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses.
- Drivers who may have sleep disorders but leave them untreated.
- Drivers who use medication that causes them to become sleepy.
Because drowsy driving has been compared to operating a vehicle while under the influence, it is important that no driver, especially someone who is responsible for carrying passengers, gets behind the wheel if they think they are too tired to drive.
In the event you have been involved in a bus accident in Los Angeles, CA, USAttorneys.com is here to help you find a nearby bus accident lawyer in Los Angeles who can help you collect the compensation you are rightfully due. Bus accidents have a tendency to alter the lives of the individuals involved and our lawyers can help you become more informed on what your rights are in the matter.