Bus Accident Attorneys In Queens NY

Bus Accidents In New York

Motorcoach companies in the U.S. carry over 750 million passengers per year over our roads and highways.  This number is nearly equivalent to the entire population of Europe. Children and seniors comprise the fastest growing segment of our country’s bus riders. Most of these passengers travel to and from their destinations without harm or injury. In fact, travel by motorcoach remains one of the safest and most efficient methods of highway transportation around.

The Motorcoach Industry

As of 2011, the motorcoach industry was composed of about 4,000 bus companies operating more than 35,000 vehicles.  In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) carried out 1,044 reviews to determine the degree to which carriers were complying with federal regulations.  Of the nearly 2,000 violations cited, 23% involved drivers falsifying or improperly recording their duty status or hours of service.  Driver error continues to be one of the most significant factors in bus accidents.

In the motorcoach industry, there are basically 5 types of carriers, defined as follows:

  • School–any carrier, whether operated by contract or by public or private school district, which provides transportation to pupils K through 12.
  • Transit—any carrier, operating primarily within urban geographical areas, which provides passenger transportation over fixed, scheduled routes,
  • Intercity—Any carrier providing for-hire, long-distance passenger transportation between cities and over fixed routes with regular schedules.
  • Charter/Tour—A company which provides for-hire transportation, usually on a round-trip basis, for a group tour or outing.  The carrier may be hired as part of a regular tour or for a specific event.
  • Other—These carriers include private companies that provide transport to their own employees, nongovernmental groups such as churches or nonprofits, and private individuals.

Bus Accidents, Generally

Although bus travel is most often safe, motorcoach crashes do occur, and they can cause deaths.  From 2001 to 2010, an average of 17 motorcoach occupant fatalities occurred each year. In 2011, there were 8 serious bus crashes resulting in 28 motorcoach occupant deaths.  Two bus accidents alone, one in New York and one in Virginia, accounted for 19 deaths and multiple injuries.  These totals do not reflect fatalities involving pedestrians, bicyclists and the occupants of vehicles other than the motorcoach that were affected by the crash. The vast majority of fatalities, 74%, are caused by rollovers and roadside events such as running off the road or striking an object in the road.

Bus accidents are twice as likely to occur in the PM hours as in the AM hours, and 80% of major collisions take place at or near intersections controlled by a stop sign or traffic signal.  Surprisingly, most collisions, 80 to 90%, occur when the weather is clear and when the road surface is dry. It is believed that drivers tend to exercise greater caution when weather and road conditions are hazardous. Additionally, major bus accidents more frequently take place on straight roads than on those that are curved, uphill or downhill, suggesting that drivers may speed or lose concentration on straight roads.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, contact the Orlow firm for a thorough discussion of your possible remedies under the law.