Bus Crashes

New Mexico bus crash lawyer – Matt Vance.

Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Law Office of Matthew Vance P.C., handles and prosecutes cases involving passenger bus crashes and accidents, including against mass transit providers like Greyhound, All Aboard America, ABQ Ride, Rapid Ride, Herrera Bus Company, Herrera Coaches, US Coachways, and other bus charter companies. We hold careless bus companies and their drivers responsible when they cause harm their passengers, pedestrians, or others on the roadway.

Bus ridership is on the rise. Whether it’s ABQ Ride, Rapid Ride, Greyhound, Durham Charter Services, or school buses, mass transit is on the rise as people seek more efficient and eco-friendly ways to get around. Unfortunately safety equipment in buses, training of drivers, and maintenance of older buses has not kept up with the increased demand. It is a powder-keg of disaster waiting to go off. Too often bus companies view their people cargo as a mass of nameless, faceless figures. Profits are put ahead of passenger safety and the safety of others on the roadway.

Bus crashes or collisions tend to be even more catastrophic than any other. Buses carry people. When a wreck occurs involving a bus, by its very nature, there are more people involved – more human impact and suffering from a single incident. Generally bus crashes also involve more severe injuries – unrestrained by seatbelts passengers are more likely to be thrown around, colliding with each other and the physical structures of the bus. The potential for human tragedy and injury is greater in the event of a bus crash than any other type of motor vehicle wreck.

Buses, as it carries people, owe the “highest degree of care” and have a special responsibility to their passengers. The imposition of this special responsibility and the regulation of common carriers begins with, but does not end with, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA develops and maintains minimum safe standards for commercial drivers and commercial motor carriers. Because bus or mass transit drivers transport the most precious cargo, people, they must possess additional knowledge and skill, even beyond that of a professional truck driver. The FMCSA regulations are stricter in regard to hours of service for bus drivers – 10 hours maximum after eight consecutive, uninterrupted off-duty hours. Further, the FMCSA regulations are specific as the additional passenger positioning and safety equipment that must be in place on buses. These additional regulations are the embodiment of the reasonable expectation that professional drivers and people transportation companies must adhere to the “highest degree of care” when transporting people – mothers, daughters, sons, and husbands.

Common causes of bus crashes include unqualified drivers, driver error or inattention, failure to manage space, driver distraction, and inadequate/improper maintenance. Left turns are particularly dangerous for pedestrian vs. bus situations. A study by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the leading cause of motorcoach crashes was driver fatigue followed by mechanical or maintenance problems with the bus and poor driver health.

Another danger presented by buses involves left turns and potential harm to pedestrians or other motorists sharing the roadway. Left turns can cause visibility issue for drivers – they have to work to look around side mirrors and bus frames. More than one untrained or inattentive bus drivers has failed to look while executing a left turn through an intersection and mowed down a pedestrian legally in the crosswalk. Turning left also, depending on the layout of the roadway, means turning across the path of oncoming lanes of traffic. With the extended size of a bus, this can present a risk to passengers and oncoming traffic. With the increased danger so too does the duty of the bus driver increase to exercise the highest degree of care.

Having a knowledgeable and dedicated attorney like Matt Vance and the Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C., on your side is critical to holding the bus driver and the bus company responsible for their actions or inactions and accountable for the harms they cause.

Free Consultation • Weekend and Evening Appointments Available

Don’t take a chance – call Matt Vance!

Click to Call 505-242-6267

After a crash it is important to move quickly to preserve critical evidence. For example, many buses are now equipped with engine/electronic control modules (ECM), typically thought of as a “black box.” The ECM records information like engine operation, rpm, speed, and braking events. These are the type of facts and information which, if collected in time, may prove bus driver or bus company negligence. ECM data does not stay around forever. ECM data is recorded over with additional operation of the commercial vehicle. ECM data can also be lost or destroyed by an unscrupulous bus company seeking to cover up its liability or that of its driver.

Additionally, many buses, including City of Albuquerque ABQ Ride and Rapid Ride, are equipped with video cameras. These cameras can record multiple angles and capture what happened in the event of a crash or incident. If one picture is worth a thousand words, video can be worth much more. It can be a proverbial time-machine.

The Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C., handles bus crash cases. We understand the rules that bus drivers and bus companies are supposed to work by. When they break their promises and don’t keep to the “highest degree of care” and thereby hurt or harm their passengers or those on the roadway, we are there to hold them responsible for the harms and losses they cause.

If you or a loved one have been hurt or harmed because of the negligence or recklessness of a bus driver, a bus company, or other mass transit company, call the Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C.

Free Consultation • Weekend and Evening Appointments Available

Don’t take a chance – call Matt Vance!

Click to Call 505-242-6267