The No. 59 and No. 13 New Jersey Transit buses were involved in a horrific T-bone accident in Newark. The bus accident killed two people and injured 17 others, some of which were critical injuries. There were no passengers on the No. 59 bus, which was broadsided near Broad Street. However, the bus driver was killed. The No. 13 bus had 17 passengers on it. One passenger died upon impact; the remaining 16 and the driver were all taken to a nearby hospital. Five passengers remained at the hospital in serious condition.
While police are still investigating the cause of the accident, they believe one of the bus drivers ran a red light.
Why Do Bus Accidents Happen?
While New Jersey bus accidents are somewhat rare, they can cause injuries and destruction on a much larger scale than normal car accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are more than 80,000 reported bus accidents that kill somewhere between 200 and 400 people per year. In 2014, more than 22,000 people have suffered serious injuries as a result of bus accidents. This number includes city transit buses, charter buses, minibuses and school buses.
Some accidents occur due to other motorists crashing into a bus. However, bus driver error is a common cause of accidents and can include the following circumstances:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving, including tailgating
- Drunk driving
- Running red lights or stop signs
Bus drivers are given strict schedules to follow on their routes and can feel pressured to quickly make their stops. However, this does not excuse reckless driving that puts passengers or other motorists in danger.
Additionally, bus drivers are often on the road for long periods of time and can experience driver fatigue. While there are laws in place requiring bus drivers to get a certain amount of sleep before getting behind the wheel, these laws are not always followed. Fatigued drivers exhibit similar driving behaviors as drunk drivers. Combine that with a 33,000-pound bus full of passengers and you have a recipe for disaster.
Finally, it is possible a mechanical error can occur and cause a bus accident. Mechanical errors can occur when companies do not perform regular inspections and maintenance on the buses or during the manufacturing process, which could cause the breaks to fail or a blown tire.
Spevack law firm is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that helps victims of transportation accidents in the Iselin, New Brunswick and Teaneck areas. Our law firm has been helping residents injured due to negligence since 1928.