Have you ever taken a long-distance bus trip? For many years, the phrase "leave the driving to us" was part of the slogan for a well-known motorcoach company in the United States.
But just how safe is it to put your safety in the hands of a bus company and its driver? As it turns out, you may face significant risks if you choose to climb aboard.
Below are some potential dangers that bus passengers face.
Much like semitruck drivers, bus drivers can face enormous pressure from companies to remain on schedule despite highway delays or inclement weather conditions. Driving too fast increases the risk of accidents.
Distracted bus drivers
Bus drivers know that they need to refrain from cellphone usage behind the wheel. But they may also get distracted by checking navigational devices or maps or even by sipping coffee or munching on snacks.
This is more common with smaller companies who may hire independent contractors with commercial drivers' licenses (CDLs). These drivers are more likely to have other jobs and be moonlighting for this company. As such, they may not be properly rested when they take the wheel of the bus you're riding.
Being unaware of low clearances
If bus drivers aren't paying proper attention, they could miss signage indicating that the bus will not clear an underpass or low bridge.
Improper tire maintenance
Companies might attempt to cut corners by using retreads on buses in their fleet instead of new tires or they could improperly inflate the tires.
Negligent bus maintenance
Buses should receive regular maintenance and repairs. Companies must stay abreast of any manufacturer recalls of the parts on the buses.
Not having working emergency exits
In a highway collision, seconds matter. If an emergency exit is nonfunctional or blocked, lives may be lost needlessly.
Overall, riding a bus remains a safe mode of travel. However, it only takes one lapse in judgment or safety to create the perfect storm of a highway accident. If you are injured in a bus crash, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your damages and losses.