Freeport, Texas. It was sometime before 3:00 p.m. when workers employed with Zachary Construction piled onto a bus after completing a job at a construction site. The bus was carrying about 30 passengers at the time and was en route to a parking area when the bus driver lost control of the vehicle. Witnesses stated that the bus “began to fishtail” and then ran off the roadway, rolling several times in the process [Source: Patch.com]. Officials stated that it was at around 3:00 p.m. when the accident occurred on State Highway 36 near the Highway 288 entrance ramp and the Brazos River.
Many of the passengers on board the bus sustained minor injuries and had to be transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in Lake Jackson. Another was taken by LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann Hospital. ABC 13 reported recently that one of the passengers on the bus, who has been identified as Aaron Green, 29, of Dayton, did not survive the collision. Police and investigators are still unsure as to what other factors may have contributed to this tragic bus accident occurring aside from the fact that the bus driver and witnesses claimed the vehicle fishtailed.
What causes a vehicle to fishtail and how can this be prevented?
As tragic and as frightening as this bus crash is, it is important to understand that anyone’s vehicle can fishtail, and you should know what to do if you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
When a vehicle fishtails, it means “your rear tires lose traction-or grip- on the road [and] your car begins to slide on the road’s surface rather than move in the direction you’re steering.” A vehicle is more likely to fishtail when roadway conditions are slick, icy, or snowy, but it can also happen when heavy rainfall is present and the roads begin to accumulate water [Source: Firestone].
Now, as you can see from the incident mentioned above, fishtailing can lead to a serious and even fatal accident occurring so you need to familiarize yourself with some step you can take to help stop your vehicle from skidding out of control.
- Try not to panic. As scary as it may be, it is best you maintain control over yourself so that you can follow the next few steps. Generally, when we panic, we stop thinking and start reacting, however, our reactions aren’t always the proper way to handle the situation.
- Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid. When you begin to feel your vehicle skid, turn the wheel slowly in the same direction as your back wheels are going. This will help you to regain control over your vehicle and hopefully get you headed back in the direction you were initially traveling in
- Remove your foot from the gas and gently brake. Rather than slam on your brakes, which is what most people want to do, it is best that if you have standard brakes that you pump when braking. Now, if you have anti-lock brakes, you will want to “apply steady pressure instead of pumping.”
Although we can’t predict when our vehicle is going to fishtail, we can adjust our driving when the roads are slippery, wet, or icy. We can also replace our tires when they are worn out as worn tires don’t “grip” the road as well as newer tires do, and we can slow our vehicles down when approaching or making a turn.
Aside from becoming aware of what to do if yourvehicle fishtails and how to reduce the chances of this occurring, you also need to understand what steps you should take if you are ever the passenger traveling inside a car, truck, or bus that skids out of control and crashes in Texas. While it is obvious that you should seek medical attention right away, you should also consult with a TX accident lawyer or Freeport, TX bus crash attorney to find out what your rights are and how you can recover compensation for the injuries you sustained.
In many instances, the victims of these types of accidents are awarded for the pain and suffering they experienced, however, they do need an experienced and dedicated attorney to help them obtain this from the parties that are held liable for causing the crash.
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