Charter and tour bus trips can be exciting. You can relax in a comfortable seat while someone else does the driving. You expect the driver of the bus to be a trained professional and for the bus you are traveling in to be well-maintained, inspected, and road ready. However, when rules are not followed or companies cut corners, accidents with catastrophic results can occur.
Bus Crash Statistics
More than 750 million people travel by bus each year as bus travel is often less expensive than air travel. It is difficult to determine how many accidents involve charter and tourism buses as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) often include large trucks in the same statistical data. However, there are reports that charter buses accounted for 13 percent of accidents between 2007 and 2017 in the United States.
Las Vegas Tourism Buses
In Las Vegas, the Regional Transit Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) operates many of the tourist-related buses in the city. The purpose of the tour buses is to reduce roadway congestion and provide visitors with a safe, easy-to-manage method to visit the exciting areas in and around Las Vegas. As injury lawyers of Nevada are well aware, no matter how hard RTC tries to operate safely, mistakes can be made. A mechanical problem may be missed on inspection, or a driver may make a mistake that leads to an accident. When a Las Vegas car accident occurs that involves a tourist bus, the damage and injuries can be significant.
Charter Buses in Las Vegas
In addition to tourist buses operated by the RTC, many companies offer charter bus services to and from Las Vegas. Many of these charter buses originate in cities far away from Las Vegas, bringing in tourists from the East Coast, the Midwest, the Southeast as well as Canada and Mexico. These buses may not have to meet the same regulations that RTC buses, which increases the risk of accidents. Injury lawyers of Nevada also say that some of the drivers are unfamiliar with Las Vegas and may make mistakes that lead to an accident.
Common Causes for Charter and Tourism Bus Accidents
There are some common causes for Las Vegas car accidents involving charter buses. One common cause is the failure to comply with FMCSA regulations. This may be as minor as not having a USDOT number or as severe as not providing wheelchair lifts or secured areas for the disabled. Charter bus drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) that certifies they meet specific physical requirements and that they have a safe driving record. Sometimes, disreputable companies employ drivers who do not hold a CDL or who do not meet the minimum standards. Some may not have strong safety policies, such as prohibiting cell phone use or adequate drug and alcohol testing protocols. Federal law requires that drivers cannot operate their bus for more than ten consecutive hours, but many charter bus companies ignore this regulation. This can lead to a driver who is fatigued behind the wheel of the bus.
Who Is Responsible?
If you are injured in a charter or tourism bus incident, the liability often lies with the charter bus company. If the bus malfunctioned in some way that led to an injury, you might be eligible for compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. There can be any number of reasons why a charter or tourist bus injured you. Another passenger’s belongings may not have been secured properly, causing an injury. A malfunction in a seat could lead you to fall, or the driver could swerve suddenly causing you to strike your head on a window or other object. In most cases, the bus company itself is responsible but there are times when the bus driver, maintenance staff, or even the company that rented the bus may be liable for your injury.
If you have been injured in a charter or tourism bus incident, such as Las Vegas car accidents involving a tour bus or a loved one has died from injuries they sustained in an accident, contact the injury lawyers of Nevada, The Schnitzer Law Firm. You can arrange for a no-obligation consultation by calling 702-960-4050, emailing [email protected], or by filling out the secure online form.