Bus Accidents In Queens

Surviving a Rollover Bus Accident

Bus travel is among the safest modes of transportation.  But because these vehicles carry large numbers of passengers, there is a greater potential for injury and death when something goes wrong.  Perhaps the most horrific type of bus accident is the rollover.  This type of accident exposes passengers to injury from a crushed bus roof as well as contact with highway surfaces when they are ejected from the vehicle. About 70% of people killed in bus crashes die because they were ejected onto a road surface.  In bus accidents, rollovers represent the highest proportion of passenger fatalities.

Rollover Scenarios

It is possible to survive a rollover, but the risks of death and serious injury are readily apparent.

  • In Flagstaff, Arizona a 72-passenger school bus rolled over after the driver lost control of the vehicle.  Five passengers were ejected onto the road.  Fortunately, only one of them sustained severe injuries.
  • In southern California, 8 people were killed and 27 injured when a tour bus overturned on a mountain road.  A number of people were ejected from broken bus windows when the vehicle turned over.
  • In Easton Township, Michigan a school bus started to spin out during a turn, slid down an embankment, crashed into a tree and turned over onto its side.  Students sustained bumps and bruises but were able to leave the vehicle through a rear emergency exit.
  • In Alberta, Canada a bus driver lost control on a curve, tipped over and skidded to a halt. Passengers trapped near shattered windows suffered facial injuries from sliding along the roadway.  Others suffered injury when they were tossed around the bus or when their legs were trapped under the seats.
  • In Oregon, 9 people were killed and 20 injured when a bus plunged through a guardrail on an icy road and slid down an embankment.  Passengers ejected from the vehicle had to be located and rescued amid the frozen wreckage.

Structural Issues in Rollovers

Buses are equipped with large windows to allow for quick passenger evacuation during an emergency.  During rollovers, passengers may be completely ejected through broken side windows or partially ejected, leaving the lower portion of their bodies inside.  Safety experts claim that tempered safety glass is far more likely to break during a rollover than acrylic glass.  Therefore, they recommend the use of advanced glazing techniques combining glass and plastic to prevent window breakage and reduce the incidence of injury and fatality.

Large windows may structurally undermine the roof strength of the bus as well.  During a rollover, passengers may be crushed by a collapsed bus roof.  Experts believe that, as window size increases, the number of vertical supports between windows decreases.  With fewer vertical supports, bus roofs are less able to withstand the weight and impact of rollovers.

Many people are lucky enough to survive a rollover, but some die and numerous others are injured.  If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bus accident, contact the Orlow firm for a thorough evaluation of your case.