Apropo our last blog, there is some addition information we would like to share. But before we do that, the following is a quick recap. Last week, according to AOL news, a Greyhound bus carrying 47 people on its way to Sacramento from Los Angeles crashed on a highway in California’s Central Valley on Thursday, killing six and injuring many others. The California Highway Patrol Officer at the scene said the bus driver swerved to try and avoid another crash involving an overturned SUV and slammed into a concrete center divider and then struck another vehicle shortly after 2am. The bus then went down an embankment, hit a eucalyptus tree and came to rest on a freeway off-ramp. 47 people were on board, six people died, and the driver was among the dead. This story brings to light two issues: SUV safety and bus safety.
First, this accident happened because the driver of the bus swerved to avoid an overturned SUV and could have been avoided if the SUV had not rolled over and obstructed the path of traffic, which forces the question–Why are some people are still under the impression that bigger is safer? Even though there is plenty evidence showing that SUV’s have a propensity for rollovers and instability at high speeds due their high center of gravity, plenty of people are still buying/driving them. Second, the accident resulted in serious injuries and 6 deaths, which forces the question–Can buses be made safer so that accidents such as this don’t have such catastrophic results? It turns out that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) is making it a priority to improve motor coach safety. In a meeting held in June 2010 they announced specific ways in which they will go about doing that. They will begin by addressing the root causes of motor coach crashes, such as driver fatigue, inattention, medical conditions and the oversight of unsafe carriers. Then they plan to address the root causes of fatalities and injuries in motor coaches by developing requirements for seatbelts for all seating positions to prevent ejections, strengthening the bus structure surrounding the windows to improve their crashworthiness, conducting verification rollover testing, develop performance requirements for motor coach structural integrity, leasing and testing Electronic Stability Controls to decide if they should be standard, upgrading the performance of tires used on motor coaches, and developing more stringent flammability and fire countermeasures and detection requirements. Here at the Brod Law Firm, we believe that consumers decisions about what form of travel they purchase should be tempered by their own research into the risks involved-which may, or may not, give them a better chance of staying safe than if they had not.