This blog has posted entries concerning truck driver fatigue and its effect on highway safety. Driver fatigue is often the causative factor in truck accidents and accidents involving other kinds of vehicles. Intercity passenger buses appear to offer a relaxing and safe way to travel, but sometimes, this image collides with reality. On Jan. 19, 2016, a Greyhound bus traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco rolled over on Highway 101 in San Jose, killing two passengers and injuring at least eight others.
The accident occurred shortly before 6:40 a.m., and most of the passengers were asleep during the moments before the mishap. Nevertheless, several of them reported seeing the driver appear to “nod off” for brief moments and then struggle to regain control of the bus. The driver survived the accident and told authorities that he felt “fatigued” shortly before the accident. His memory of the accident appeared incomplete: he said that he remembered hitting some barrels and his next memory was the bus lying on its side. Two female passengers were apparently thrown from the bus, and were declared dead at the scene. Each of the other 18 passengers was injured, and one with serious injuries.
Driver fatigue is becoming an increasingly critical issue for companies that operated trucks and buses on the nation’s highways. An official of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents Greyhound drivers, said that while he had no first-hand information about the accident, the union has been pushing Congress to include bus drivers in the Fair Labor Standards Act so that their hours of work can be regulated.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 13 percent of all big rig and bus crashes in 2006 and 2007 were caused by driver fatigue. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in an accident that may involve driver fatigue might wish to consult an attorney who specializes in handling injury and wrongful death claims. Such a consultation can provide a help evaluation of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
Source: NBCLosAngeles, “2 Dead, 8 Hurt After Greyhound Bus Flips on Side in California,” Kris Sanchez, Lisa Fernandez, Shawn Murphy, Marianne Favro, Michelle Roberts and Cheryl Hurd, Jan. 19, 2016