Over the past several years, public transportation has had a strong resurgence due to the growing awareness of our carbon footprint as well as increasing fuel costs. Mass transit buses, school buses, charter buses, and low-fare buses all contribute to the number of buses on the highways. Due to the increased congestion on our roads and highways, the number of bus accidents has risen throughout the country.
According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, there were 116,386 traffic crashes reported in 2010 throughout the state of Virginia. Of this total, there were 572 school bus accidents and 519 other bus crashes that resulted in 476 injuries. A variety of circumstances caused these bus accidents. Driver intoxication was the cause of 2 accidents; the driver fell asleep in 1 crash; the driver failed to yield in 74 cases; the driver was avoiding another vehicle in 12 collisions; and the driver was following too closely in 44 other accidents.
These are just some of the causes of highway bus wrecks in the state of Virginia. Other factors that contribute to highway bus crashes include reckless driving, driver distractions, adverse weather conditions, dangerous roadways, and vehicle defects. Other statistics on Virginia traffic crashes can be found here:
The injuries incurred in a bus accident can often be far more extensive than in a regular vehicle accident because there are no seat belts for the passengers. Even in a minor crash, bus passengers can be thrown from their seats, which often results in serious injuries such as broken bones and head trauma.
These accidents not only result in injuries to bus passengers, but because of the massive size and weight of the buses, riders in other vehicles and pedestrians often suffer extensive and even fatal injuries. These injuries can include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, multiple fractures, burn injuries and even death. Bus accident victims frequently face enormous medical bills and a lengthy recovery process.
Bus crashes are usually more complicated than the average car accident. They usually result in serious or even permanent injuries. Instead of a car accident that involves two individuals, victims of bus accidents have to deal with the owner of the bus, typically a large corporation or the government. If you have been injured in a bus wreck through no fault of your own, you should consult with an experienced bus accident personal injury attorney who is well versed in the legal issues surrounding bus accidents.