Bus accidents are more frequent than most people believe. According to research published by the United States Department of Transportation there are an estimated 11,000 roadway collisions involving private and public transportation buses in the United States resulting in more than 22,000 serious injuries and hundreds of deaths. Accidents involving Greyhound Bus Lines are the most publicized of these accidents.
Greyhound Bus Lines is the largest intercity bus company in North America. Its drivers transport 18 million passengers over 5.4 billion miles per year, according to the company website. While most Greyhound passengers reach their destinations safely, there is a significant number of them that are injured due to Greyhound’s negligence. These accidents are caused by reckless or tired bus drivers, lack of vehicle maintenance or other.
How do these Accidents Occur?
One of the biggest problems Greyhound is facing is managing the fatigue of their drivers. Greyhound had implemented a safety rule for their drivers to follow which would require them to stop every 150 miles at a rest stop to get out and walk around the bus so they could check the tires, stretch, and mitigate fatigue. However, through depositions of Greyhound CEO, David Leach, it was revealed that this was more of a recommendation than a requirement. Leach went on to say during the deposition that he would be fine with drivers going for as long as 333 miles without a break. If Greyhound refuses to enforce their regulations overworked drivers will continue to fall asleep at the wheel, putting everyone else in the bus and on the road in severe danger.
Previous Greyhound Accidents
During a 2013 trip from Cincinnati to Detroit, a Greyhound bus driver fell asleep behind the wheel of his bus due to untreated sleep apnea. A month before the crash, the U.S. Department of Transportation recommended the driver be tested for sleep apnea, but Greyhound neglected to move forward with the recommendation. Greyhound unsuccessfully attempted to escape liability by claim in the driver had lost consciousness by choking on his coffee. A jury awarded the five plaintiffs over $6 million.
A similar accident occurred in 2013 when a Greyhound bus crashed into a semitrailer after the driver fell asleep behind the wheel. An Ohio man who was a passenger endured 30 different surgeries as a result and in the end had a leg amputated because of the accident. This man was awarded $23 in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages.
Some charter bus companies have stopped offering overnight routes because of the risk and the number of fatigue related crashes, but Greyhound Bus Lines has continued to offer their overnight routes despite the concerning number of accidents. Greyhound bus accidents continue to occur and if changes are not made to their regulations accidents will continue to come as a result. Each case is unique and must be considered separately, but if you have been involved in a Greyhound bus accident, we encourage you to contact one of our attorneys at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. Contact our team today at (212) 514-5007 for your free and confidential case review.