On February 3, 2013, 42 people were on a bus heading back to Philadelphia after a trip to visit Harvard University. Passengers included both students and chaperones. Unfortunately, the driver in the bus accident made a dangerous decision that led to a serious accident.
Our Boston bus accident lawyers believe that this serious bus accident serves as an important reminder to bus drivers everywhere that they must exhibit a reasonable degree of care when they are operating their vehicles. Those chartering buses should also be careful to do their research and to make sure the bus company has a good reputation for safety.
The Boston Bus Accident
The February 3 Boston bus accident, reported by NPR, occurred after the driver failed to pay attention to Maximum Height signs that were located on the road. The signs indicated that no vehicles more than 10 feet high would have clearance. The bus, however, was more than 10 feet high. The driver failed to deviate from his route despite the warning that the bus wouldn't fit.
Unfortunately, when the bus reached Soldier's Field Road, it hit the overpass that prevented clearance of vehicles taller than 10 feet. The center front section of the roof of the bus was crushed inwards and severe damage was sustained to the bus. The passengers were, unfortunately, trapped inside of the vehicle. For more than one hour, rescue workers attempted to remove the passengers inside through the top of the vehicle.
More than 30 people in total were injured in the crash, including students and chaperones. Everyone was stranded on the bus for almost two hours and some sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash.
Protecting Yourself from Boston Bus Accidents
Unfortunately, this tragic Boston bus accident likely could have been prevented if the driver of the vehicle had simply paid proper attention and obeyed the road signs warning of the impending danger. The driver's failure to follow the signs was the direct cause of at least 30 injuries. Bus drivers must exercise reasonable care, must pay attention to road signs at all times and must make smart choices that keep their passengers safe in order to avoid accidents like this one.
Those chartering a bus, however, can also take some steps to do their part to ensure their own safety. One of the most important things that passengers can do before chartering a bus is to take advantage of the resources provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has an entire section of its website dedicated to safely chartering a bus. The site includes a safety checklist; tips for picking a safe company and information on how to obtain the safety records of charter bus companies that you are considering working with.
Before you charter a bus for your next trip or special event, you should consult with the FMCSA to determine if the bus company you are considering has a satisfactory rating. If the company does not and its rating is conditional instead, this means the company has had some safety violations. Hiring a bus company with past safety violations is not a chance you want to take.
If you've been injured, call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone.