Stories of horrific motorcoach and bus crashes hit the headlines with alarming frequency, often resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities for innocent passengers and other vehicle occupants as well. Missouri and Illinois residents who have been injured or lost loved ones in these types of accidents may find themselves wondering what options they have to seek justice. They likely have the right to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. In the meantime, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working to enact a stronger motorcoach safety regulation intended to improve bus safety for passengers.
The new safety regulation would require large buses to meet a certain standard in structural design, something which would better protect vehicle occupants in the event of crashes–especially dangerous rollover accidents. Buses would have to provide a greater measure of space around passengers to make crashes more survivable and ensure that any emergency exits do not malfunction in a collision.
The U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, stated that this push for a new safety standard is intended to protect passengers. He said he hopes they see that the Department attempts to take every possible step to help improve their safety as they travel for work or to visit relatives.
If this standard is passed, these motorcoaches and buses will have to go through tests wherein they will be leaned over off of a platform at a height onto a hard surface. During this test, motorcoach and buses must:
- Provide sufficient space around areas where passengers sit to increase their chances of surviving crashes;
- Ensure that passenger seats, luggage racks, and window glazing do not detach from their mountings; and
- Make sure that emergency exits do not open during actual collisions, but keep functioning after the test ends.
Interestingly, these proposed standards would closely match those in European countries. The NHTSA is also working on safety regulations to help promote greater stability control technologies in motorcoaches and buses to help stop rollovers from occurring in the first place.
While these motorcoach safety and bus safety regulations may provide greater protection for passengers in the future, they could come too late for some. If you or a loved one have already been harmed in a motorcoach or bus accident, please call my St. Louis personal injury law firm at 1-888-586-7041, free of charge, to discuss your case and find out your rights under the law. Considering that motorcoach drivers and the companies which employ them will typically have attorneys working to protect their rights, you may benefit from having an attorney working for you, as well.
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