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Articles Posted in Bus Accident

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It’s Spring Break and tourist season and visitors from around the country are looking toward commercial buses to reach some of the state’s hottest destinations. To help to reduce the risks of bus accidents in Stuart and elsewhere, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently unveiled its new SaferBus iPad/iPhone application.

This app is the first of its kind and is offering bus riders with a quick, simple and free way to look over a bus company’s safety rating and safety records before purchasing a ticket or booking their next travel.
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“This new app gives Americans the information they need to make smart safety decisions,” said Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary.

Our Stuart accident lawyers understand that tour groups, families and students are likely to use commercial buses as transportation options through the spring and summer months. Now, officials are urging all travelers to use the SaferBus app to research companies and to help choose a safe ride before booking that next trip.

This app has been designed to be used on Apple iPads and iPhones. You can download it for free at the Apple iTunes App Store or by visiting the FMCSA’s “Look Before You Book” web site.

The SaferBus app is offering information and records regarding about 6,000 interstate commercial passenger carriers within the U.S. Privately-operated motorcoach, tour bus companies and school bus records are also available on this app. The importance of apps and services like this is growing as the technology improves. There were nearly 1,000 million motorcoach passenger trips taken in the United States in 2009, according to the American Bus Association.

Anne S. Ferro, the FMCSA Administrator, said this app is the first step in helping to make bus information available to smartphone users. Now smartphone users are able to access this information with the touch of a button. Officials are hoping that the exposure will help get companies to keep safety as the number one priority. Ferro points out that this app isn’t only for all of the companies that are bad and have unsafe records, it will also be used to highlight companies with positive safety and transportation records.

The app is offering the most recent 2 years of a company’s safety performance records. Within these records are vehicle maintenance, controlled substances/alcohol, driver fitness, fatigued driving and unsafe driving reports.

Tourists and others travelers who are thinking about riding a bus to their next Florida destination are urged to check out this new app and to really do their homework regarding which busing company can best meet their needs. Planning out trips can help to make them run smoother and safer! Happy travels.
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Miami-Dade Transit and Metrorail employees all called in sick to protest wage cuts, but the buses were all up and running on schedule on Monday morning. The County is currently facing s $400 million budget deficit in the upcoming year. Officials are looking for any and all ways to cut corners to fill the gap. If its new budget plan is passed, these transit workers will not receive their expected three percent raise and they will be required to double their health care contributions and workers are not happy about it.
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Safe transportation advocates worry about the cuts as they believe the reductions will affect the safety of our bus system and will increase the risks of fatal bus accident in Miami and elsewhere in the area. Transit officials are turning towards retired drivers to help cover shifts should the protest continue.

Our Miami bus accident attorneys understand that many residents and visitors rely on these buses to travel throughout the area. Busing accidents have the potential to seriously affect a rider’s entire life, from medical bills to lost time at work to life altering injuries. Those who have been involved in a public transit accident are urged to contact an attorney immediately as a number of statute of limitation laws apply and delay can limit your ability to make a claim.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were approximately 12,000 injuries sustained as a result of bus accidents in 2007 alone. Nearly 40 people died in these same types of accidents that year.

These statistics illustrate just how dangerous riding a public bus can be. Cutting wages for our bus drivers is no way to help ensure bus safety.

“I can tell you, positively, there will not be a work stoppage,” said John Bland of the Transport Workers Union Local 291. “We have encouraged all of the employees to report to work as usual.”

Through protesting bus drivers, people could potentially miss meetings, doctors appointments and work shifts. To help our residents get to their destination, the Miami-Dade Transit and Metrorail has called up retired transit drivers to help fill any shifts if needed, according to 7 News.

By recruiting the retired bus drivers, local officials may be putting our bus riders at even more danger. Drivers are required to be familiar with the bus route, the bus functions and the current traffic conditions. Calling in drivers that have not operated these vehicles in quite some time could put our riders at increased risks for an accident.

Although Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has a stated that it’s illegal for current bus employees to participate in any protesting actions, he still believes some will partake in opposing actions. He reiterates that there were be dire consequences to such individuals.

Besides poorly trained bus drivers, bus accidents can occur for a number of reasons:

-Bus driver negligence.

-Poor weather conditions, especially from rain during our Florida summers.

-Defective bus equipment.

-Dangerous roadways.

-Improper maintenance. Companies are required to ensure that their buses are properly maintained and meet a number of federal safety requirements.

-Dangerous or blocked bus stop areas.

Miami-Dade County has set up bus rider alerts that will inform those who sign up if something is to change with the current bus schedule.
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Since August 18, there have been five reported Florida school bus accidents that have involved at least 70 school children and claimed the lives of one school bus driver and the driver of a pickup truck.

The 57-year-old school bus driver was killed in Jefferson County after her bus veered from County Road 257 and struck a tree. According to wctv.tv, none of the six children she was transporting were injured during the crash and what cause her to drive off the road is still unknown. Grief counselors have been dispatched to area schools to help grieving children, their families, and fellow bus drivers cope with her death.
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As our experienced Fort Lauderdale school bus accident attorneys have reported on our website and in an earlier post on our South Florida Injury Lawyer blog, between 1991-2001, on average, 26 children died each year due to a school bus accident. Half of the victims were between the ages of 5-7.

In Florida, school bus accidents are most common at the start of the school year – a point further validated by number of accidents around the state just during the last month.

The attorneys at Freeman & Mallard have found that in many school bus accident cases, driver inattention, an inexperienced bus driver, faulty or poorly maintained equipment, or a dangerous bus stop location often play some contributing role in a crash. All are common factors in accidents where serious injury or death occur and point to potential issues of negligence and liability on the part of the school bus operator and those who manage and oversee the fleet and their drivers.
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Adding to an existing aggressive seat-belt safety awareness and regulatory campaign, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a proposal this week that will require new motor coaches to have lap-shoulder belts which, when worn, can save lives by preventing ejection during crashes or rollovers.

“We’re committed to making sure that motor coach travelers reach their destination safely,” said Secretary LaHood. “Seat belts save lives, and putting them in motor coaches just makes sense.”
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In Florida in 2009, of the 1,555 fatalities linked to car accidents, 917 passengers and drivers – or 59 percent – who were killed were not wearing seatbelts, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

In July we reported on our South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog that while Florida traffic accidents reached a new low in 2009, the number of accidents in St. Lucie actually increased.

And despite the statewide tick downward, there were still more than 25,000 traffic accidents in Broward County, more than 42,000 accidents reported in Miami-Dade, and the Palm Beach and St. Lucie areas combined reported more than 15,000 traffic accidents.

At Freeman & Mallard, our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys understand that being injured or losing a loved one in a car crash can be financially, emotionally and physically devastating. Dealing with car repairs, hospitalization, multiple trips to the doctor or rehabilitation, lost days at work, and even funeral expenses, add unbearable stresses and strains to daily life..

Talking with and experienced attorney who has a thorough understanding of Florida’s traffic laws and can properly investigate your case will help you better preserve your rights and navigate your way back from the aftermath of a serious accident.
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Back to school is one of the most dangerous times for students, who face increased risk of school bus, bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida.

Fort Lauderdale school bus accidents are most common around the start of each school year and can result from driver inattention, an inexperienced school bus driver, faulty equipment or because of a dangerous bus stop, bus shelter or other gathering place for students waiting for a school bus. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that pedestrian accidents outside the bus account for 14 of the 19 bus-related fatalities that are reported each year.
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Thousands more are injured in school bus accidents each year. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that 23 people were killed and 1,203 were injured in Florida bus accidents last year, which also includes crashes involving passenger and commercial buses.

Motorists are required by state law to stop for all school buses displaying red flashing lights. Passing is not permitted until the red lights have been turned off.

Bus safety tips include:

-Make sure they get to the stop on time and wait away from the road.

-Children should never attempt to retrieve something from beneath the bus.

-Talk to school administrators or the school district if you have concerns about the safety or location of your school bus stop.

Bicycle and pedestrian accidents

A significant number of students will be injured in bicycle and pedestrian accidents as the school year begins. Motorists are encouraged to watch for children, particularly in school zones and near bus stops and crosswalks.

The NHTSA reports that more than 80 young children a year are killed in bicycle accidents and more than 50,000 are injured. More than 250 are killed in pedestrian accidents and more than 69,000 are injured.

Speaking to children about the risk factors can go a long way in keeping them safe. Here again, motorists can do their part in helping to ease the transition into the school year by allowing extra time for their morning and afternoon commute. And by watching out for the tens of thousands of children who will be making their way to school this month.
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