Bus Safety Rules Being Reviewed By Feds After Fatal California Accident

Highways are dangerous places because there are so many large vehicles traveling on the roads with smaller automobiles. A collision between those of us in smaller cars and a tractor-trailer truck can lead to serious injuries or even death. If this has happened to you, a tractor trailer accident attorney will help you put your life back on track. An 18 wheeler accident attorney is someone who spends a majority of his or her time defending the rights of people who have been hit by these large vehicles. If you have been dealing with the other driver’s insurance company on your own and have not had any success, it may be time to hand the reins to one of the many qualified truck accident lawyers in your area. You can even file a claim if you lost a loved in a crash as has occurred in northern California earlier this month. Calls for New Safety Measures A total of 10 people died when a FedEx truck ran into a bus about 100 miles north of Sacramento. As a result of this crash, federal transportation officials have begun to seek ways to minimize injuries and deaths that take place in bus crashes. In 1997, a tour bus went tumbling down a hill and turned over with several passengers inside. The survivors had difficulties escaping through the vehicle’s windows, so investigators suggested that officials write new safety measures that would make it easier for passengers to escape from a distressed large bus. Investigators called for these new safety standards 15 years ago, but they were never implemented. The National Transportation Safety Board’s Recommendations The National Transportation Safety Board also made suggestions several years ago on how to make bus travel safer. Specifically, this agency wanted to see emergency exits and seat belts in buses. The board also suggested that officials write fire-safety rules especially for bus riders. Like 15 years ago, no one acted on these recommendations. Future Protections for Passengers In the very near future, buses are expected to have more protections for passengers. By November of 2016, large buses and motor coaches will be required to have three-point lap and shoulder seat belts. The bus that was involved in the recent crash was owned by Silverado Stages, and this company is known for having a very good safety record. The bus was manufactured in 2014, but it had seat belts installed. Enforcing Seat belt Use The next concern is the use of those seat belts. As was mentioned above, the Silverado Stages bus had them, but some victims were thrown from the vehicle. Mark Rosekind of the National Transportation Safety Board stated that it’s hard for authorities to enforce the use of safety belts when they are not currently required to be in these vehicles in the first place. Larry Hanley president of the Amalgamated Transit Union also expressed his thoughts on the seat belt issue. He believes that it would require something similar to a flight attendant to ensure that everyone on a bus has his or her safety belts fastened. Hanley’s organization is a representative of drivers and seeks to reduce driver fatigue through new policies. Tragedy on Interstate 5 On one fateful afternoon near Orland, California, a Silverado Stages bus was transporting a group of high school students to Humboldt University. At about 5:30 p.m., a FedEx truck crossed the median and collided with the bus. Because there weren’t any tire marks, investigators determined that the truck driver never applied the brakes. Several of the 44 students managed to climb through the windows to safety. Soon afterward, the bus and the truck exploded and burst into flames. Among the dead were the bus driver, five students and three chaperones.