Buses are convenient methods of transportation for a variety of purposes. People use buses for commuting to work, getting an education and traveling long distances. However, buses present a unique danger when it comes to accidents.
Because buses are gigantic and heavy, they can be deadly forces in motor vehicle crashes. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,440 buses and semi-trucks were involved in deadly accidents in 2016. But what are some of the reasons that buses crash? Here are a few of the most common causes of bus accidents:
Bus drivers may experience distractions just like any other driver. Common sources of distraction include:
- Using a phone
- Adjusting the radio
However, bus drivers have a unique risk–passengers. Passengers can be loud, rowdy or even dangerous. When bus drivers are keeping an eye on their passengers, they may make dangerous mistakes on the road and cause collisions.
Speeding or reckless driving
Many bus drivers must adhere to strict schedules, especially when it comes to city buses. These tight timeframes can put bus drivers under a lot of stress. When there are delays due to traffic, construction or weather, a bus driver may try to speed to make up time. Speeding may also lead to careless driving, such as making illegal turns or tailgating other vehicles.
Tiredness is a dangerous state of mind for a bus driver to experience. Some bus drivers must drive late nights, early mornings or even overnight. Insomnia and sleep deficits can lead to a significant amount of driver impairment similar to drunk driving.
Driving under the influence
Despite strict laws and regulations against impaired driving, some bus drivers operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This not only puts their passengers at risk, but it may have catastrophic results for other drivers on the road as well.