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What Can Cause a Bus Accident?

Dan Brian   |  June 28, 2017   |  

A school trip to Nashville almost turned into disaster back on May 22nd. A bus from the Burlington School suddenly caught fire, forcing students to evacuate. North Carolina law states that a school bus loaded with children shall not be driven at greater than 45 mph and an activity bus loaded with children shall not be driven at greater than 55 mph according to N.C. GEN. STAT. § 20-218(b). Luckily, no one was injured, but the incident has left questions. How could such a dangerous bus accident happen, and what can be done to prevent future incidents?

Things That Can Cause a Bus Accident

  • Traffic– There are many traffic situations that can cause a bus crash. Cars that cut buses off leave no room for bus drivers to stop, and reckless drivers can force buses off road or cause even worse calamities.
  • Distracted Driving– Not long ago in Texas, a distracted driver drove head first into a bus of senior citizens. Many senior citizens and the pickup driver lost their lives in that collision. Worse yet, sometimes bus drivers can get distracted and veer off course too. North Carolina has a distracted driving law to prevent accidents like this, so if you see someone driving while distracted, speak up and let the authorities know.
  • Driver Health Conditions– In Orange County, a bus driver crashed into a tree, injuring several students. It was discovered that this driver had fallen unconscious due to a health condition that he hid from his employers. This led the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to compel bus drivers to disclose pertinent health conditions to their employers. The parents of the injured children also filed lawsuits against the school district for not thoroughly checking into the driver’s history.
  • Vehicle Maintenance– When a bus crashed on U.S. 74 near Hamlet, four people lost their lives, and a poorly maintained bus may have been to blame. A lawsuit alleges that Sandy River Baptist Church, owners of the bus in question, failed to properly maintain the vehicle and inspect the bus’s tires. This may have led to the front tire blow out that cost four people their lives.
As you can see, not every bus accident has a happy ending. However, thanks to Cumberland County officials in Tennessee, North Carolina students from the Burlington School were not only sheltered and cared for after the fire, they still made it to the dinner show they were travelling to.

Brought to you by the Raleigh accident lawyers at Riddle & Brantley, LLP—we are relentless when it comes to justice because your safety counts.

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