Bus Accidents: Causes, Risks & Triggers

Last updated on: August 20, 2015


It is only natural to look at scene of a bus accident in person or on television and wonder how such a tragic event could have happened. While there are some truly mysterious or baffling bus accidents that defy an easy explanation, there are certain causes, risk factors, and triggers present in other bus accidents. These usually make their way into statistical reports prepared by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other government agencies and research institutes.

Planning a trip by commercial bus soon? Wondering if you are at an increased risk of being involved in a bus accident? Consider the following:

  • On commercial buses (including charter buses), “driver error” – that is, mistakes made by a driver, such as speeding, making an improper turn, and other careless actions – is a common cause of bus accidents;
  • Buses traveling cross-country or a significant distance are at an increased risk of being involved in a bus accident due to the bus driver’s drowsiness;
  • Driver age plays a role in risk of being involved in a serious injury bus accident. Drivers who are brand new or young tend to be involved in more serious bus accidents than other drivers. The same is true for bus drivers between 55 and 65 years of age. The risk of being involved in a serious bus accident increases again if the bus driver is over the age 65 years;
  • Commercial vehicles like buses are more likely to be involved in a serious crash on rural roads or in rural areas as opposed to in urban areas;
  • Traveling at night increases the likelihood of a bus accident, as does traveling during inclement weather.

How Does This Impact My Travel Plans?

None of the above-recited facts or trends can determine with 100% accuracy whether you will be involved in a bus accident. These trends do indicate, however, that bus drivers and companies that do not take these trends into consideration may find themselves at risk of being sued for a bus accident injury. For example:

  • A bus company that pushes its drivers to drive late into the night or exceed federally-mandated driving limits can be held responsible when an employee, following these orders, is involved in a bus accident crash;
  • A bus driver who is speeding on a poorly lit rural road may have a hard time defending his actions and driving if a crash results;
  • A bus company that employs very young bus drivers or bus drivers over the age of 65 will be closely scrutinized during a bus accident lawsuit to determine what training programs the company used, how their drivers fared on these tests, and how much supervision the company provided for these drivers.
  • A bus driver who insists on driving through the night – for whatever reason – places him- or herself at risk, as well as his or her passengers.

At Zinda Law Group, we have brought lawsuits on behalf of injured victims involved in a bus crash on numerous occasions. These causes and risks are not always present in every case; however, when they are present, that is a clue for us to investigate further. A thorough investigation into what the bus driver knew and what the bus company knew before the crash is an essential first step in formulating a solid trial strategy designed to get you compensation. If you or a loved one have been involved in a bus accident crash, contact us at (800) 863-5312 to schedule a free consultation and allow us to discuss your rights with you.