What Are the Common Causes of Bus Accidents?

By Greg Kohn

Each day, thousands of New Jersey residents rely on bus transportation. In doing so, they transfer their safety into the care of bus drivers and bus company owners. 

Bus owners and operators have a duty of care to protect the safety and well-being of their passengers. Sometimes, however, circumstances lead to accidents, injury, and loss.

If you are reliant on bus transportation, New Jersey bus accident attorneys want you to know the common causes of bus accidents. Understanding these four primary causes can help determine your course of action if you are injured or harmed in a bus accident. 

4 Common Causes of Bus Accidents in New Jersey

New Jersey bus accidents generally result from the following four common causes:

1. Driver Error:  

  • Failing to follow the rules of the road: Speeding, inattention to roadway signs, right of way rules, or passing safety can all result in accidents. Bus drivers must know, observe, and follow the rules of the road to travel safely. 
  • Distracted Driving: A lack of attention to the road by bus drivers is a leading cause of bus accidents, whether due to a wandering mind, unruly passenger, or texting and driving.
  • Fatigue: lack of sleep can greatly reduce a driver’s awareness and reaction times behind the wheel.  Often, bus drivers work long hours and suffer fatigue toward the end of their schedules. 
  • Driving under the Influence: While driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited by law, it is not uncommon.  In particular, bus drivers may use drugs or alcohol to mitigate on-job stresses of heavy traffic and long shifts.  

2. Mechanical Failure:

Ongoing maintenance and service is a requirement of owning and operating a bus. Failure to regularly service the vehicle and replace worn or faulty parts can easily lead to a bus accident. Bus maintenance should include routine inspection and service of items such as:

  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Lights
  • Warning Signals
  • Safety Equipment
  • Suspension
  • Steering mechanisms

New Jersey bus companies and owners who fail to maintain, service, and repair their vehicles may be held liable for any resulting accident and the suffering of parties therefrom. 

3. Environmental Factors:

  • Bad weather and poor road conditions are another leading cause of bus accidents. Fog, high winds, heavy rain, and snow can all diminish visibility and increase the risk of slippery roads, black ice, road debris, and obstructions. 
  • Poorly maintained roads also contribute to bus accidents in New Jersey. Potholes, lack of guard rails, unmarked curves, sand and debris, blindspots, and unmarked construction areas are all hazards that can negatively impact bus safety. 

4. Other Drivers: 

Sometimes, bus drivers can do everything right, and New Jersey road conditions can support safe travel, but other drivers create a problem. Other drivers must respect that buses are larger vehicles and have slower stopping and acceleration times.  If another driver interferes with the safe travel of a bus, they could be at-fault and held accountable for damages. 

How a New Jersey Bus Accident Attorney Can Help You

Determining negligence in a bus accident is a daunting task. Bus drivers, bus companies, government agencies, private parties, and insurance adjusters could all be found at-fault and open to liability.

Our experienced legal team works on your behalf to uncover the root cause, or causes, of your bus accident and hold the negligent party/parties accountable.  While you focus on healing and recovery, we pursue the compensation you deserve. 

For a comprehensive review of your case, contact a New Jersey bus accident attorney at our office today.  

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.