According to data gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration since 1988, bus accidents result in thousands of injuries annually. Although most people experience safe and uneventful journeys by bus, when something does go wrong, there’s a strong possibility of serious injury and death.
One recent example is an accident involving a church bus that occurred on Interstate 465 in Indianapolis. The bus, which crashed into a concrete barrier and landed on its side, was full of teenagers returning from a youth camp trip to Michigan. The crash killed three chaperones, including the pastor, his pregnant wife, and their unborn child. Over 30 other people were also injured.
The investigation into this horrifying crash is still underway, but what officials most suspect at this point is that the brakes on the bus were faulty. The driver also stated in the aftermath of the accident that the brakes had suddenly stopped functioning.
Regardless of what the cause happens to be in this accident, it’s important to be aware of the many reasons that bus crashes of this nature do occur. These include:
Driver negligence (which includes driving while intoxicated or fatigued).
The negligent behavior of other drivers on the road.
Excessively disruptive passenger behavior.
Mechanical failures that could have been prevented by proper inspection and maintenance of the bus.
In regards to the church bus accident, the bus was inspected by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2010, though the results of the inspection aren’t clear. Were there some problems that needed to be fixed that weren’t addressed properly? As pointed out in the article, nonprofit organizations, including religious institutions, don’t get hit with the same amount of government oversight as to the condition of their privately owned buses when compared to commercial bus companies. Unless the nonprofit is explicitly using the bus as a school bus or hiring it out to others, they don’t need to keep inspection records.
When it comes to buses, we place our trust in other people to transport us safely and ensure that the vehicle we’re traveling in passes muster. Getting in touch with Indiana injury lawyers in the aftermath of an accident is a good step to take if you suspect that other people were negligent about your safety and the well-being of your loved ones.