Charter bus companies carry a big responsibility on their hands. They must be sure that they are following federal regulations in terms of maintaining their buses and they must hire reliable and qualified bus drivers. These bus operators must be able to handle driving a bus safely so that the passengers get to and from their desired destination unharmed. But, just like any company, things are sometimes overlooked which is one of the reasons why accidents occur. For instance, if a bus is cleared to run on its scheduled route but didn’t actually go through the maintenance it required, that could contribute to an accident transpiring.
And when an accident does occur, commercial bus companies are often looked at under a magnifying glass to determine who is to blame, if anyone, for the collision that occurred or if the company itself was negligent. If you were recently involved in a charter bus accident in Charlotte, NC and are wondering how authorities and investigators will determine if the driver of the bus was at-fault for causing the crash, you can expect that they will use the following information they gather to help determine this.
- Route Information- Most bus drivers are limited to a 10-hour shift followed by an 8-hour off-duty break, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. So, investigators will look at the route in which the bus driver was traveling to determine their shift exceeded the time they were legally permitted to drive. Officials will also take into account stops, breaks, etc., to determine if the driver should have stopped but didn’t.
- Training- Bus drivers must go through extensive training to ensure they are ready and prepared to operate such a large vehicle. Investigators will go back and look to see whether this driver went through the required training, how well they performed during their training course, and use this to help decide if their lack of skills may have contributed to the bus accident occurring.
- Pre-Employment Information- Officials are going to have to go back and check to see if the bus operator was properly hired, trained, and qualified to operate a bus. If they had a history of bad driving yet the company still hired them, both the driver and the company could potentially be held liable for the accident and compensating the injured parties for the damages they caused.
[Source: Houston Public Media].
Some other things investigators will look at include how the driver left the roadway just before the accident occurred and the company’s accident log to determine how safe it actually is. The truth is, there are times where companies who have been recognized for causing some pretty serious accidents close and then re-open under a different name, yet still operate with the same group of people and the same buses exposing passengers to unsafe conditions.
Although investigators do their part in determining whether a bus driver is negligent after a bus collision has transpired, the Charlotte bus accident lawyers USAttorneys.com works with can also play a role in proving this. So, if you or someone you know has suffered an injury in any type of bus collision and are looking to recover compensation for pain, suffering, medical bills, etc., contact USAttorneys and let us find you a local Charlotte, NC bus crash attorney who can get this accomplished.